Armed stand-off between police and man allegedly threatening to cause gas explosion

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By Kevin Duguid

POLICE were called to a major disturbance after a man was alleged to have threatened to blow himself up.

The 28-year-old was arrested and taken into custody after sparking a huge emergency in Leith, Edinburgh, on Saturday evening.

He is believed to have taken someone hostage at a flat on Buchanan Street some time before 6pm, causing a stand-off with armed police, fire crews and at least three ambulances in place.

Local residents said the main had threatened to blow the place up in a gas explosion.

Buchanan Street, which is close to busy Leith Walk, was cordoned off while police teams dealt with the incident in the tenement block.

Neighbouring residents were told to keep behind police tape and were escorted from their buildings off of the street.

One woman said: “A lady I spoke to told me that a man in the flats was threatening to blow himself up.”

Another resident said: “I think there were concerns there could be an explosion.”

Three four-man squads of riot police entered the cordon during the stand-off armed with shields.

The man was bundled into a police van just before 7pm.

One of the officers walking beside him was carrying a battering ram.

Three emergency support ambulances were on stand-by in Dalmeny Street throughout the operation.

Two paramedics wearing high visibility jackets were allowed in through the cordon around half-an-hour before the man was taken away in the police van.

Police officers lined one side of the street throughout the operation and could be seen looking up at one the flats.

Residents could be seen leaning out of their windows in neighbouring properties.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “We attended a disturbance on Buchanan Street.

“A 28 year old male has been arrested and been taken in to custody.

“He will appear in court on Monday.”

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