A HIGH speed chase ended with a police car crashing and bursting into flames yesterday (thur) evening.
Both the police car and the red Rover 214 it was chasing smashed into metal bollards outside the US consulate in Edinburgh.
Police said they had arrested the car’s driver after a pursuit, and no-one was hurt.
The chase began after an incident in Stockbridge when the car hit a police vehicle, the Lothian and Borders Police said.
The two cars sped down Carlton Terrace in the centre of the city before smashing into the bollards outside the consulate on Regent Terrace around 6.15pm.
Fire-fighters had to use tools to isolate the engine and shut the car down.
Student Luke Harrison, 22, who lives nearby, said he heard engines revving followed by a crash.
He said: “I was watching TV at home with my flatmates and could hear the sound of a revved-up engine and then a crash.
“We came outside and there was a guy laying on the ground, who looked like he was high on drugs or drunk, with about seven police men surrounding him and one kneeling on his back putting handcuffs on him.
“The guy was moaning, protesting and shouting.
“I’m sure it was a police chase because you could hear the cars’ engines revving and there would be no need for a car to be travelling that fast along here.”
Another resident who lives nearby, who did not want to be named, said: “I heard two loud bangs one after the other and when I looked out of the window a police car was smouldering and eventually caught fire.”
A teenager who witnessed the chase said: “I was coming home from school when I saw a red car whizzing past me followed by a police car.
“The driver was going really fast and it looked like the police were chasing him.
“A few moments later when I arrived at my house I saw tonnes of other police cars pulling up and the fire brigade at the top of the street.”
A police spokesman said: “A man has been arrested by police following a road traffic collision.
“The arrest follows an incident in the Stockbirdge area of the city around 6.15pm when the vehicle he was driving collided with a police vehicle.
“Following a brief pursuit, the car and driver were stopped in regent Terrace where the driver was detained. No-one was injured in the incident.
“A report will now be submitted to the procurator fiscal at Edinburgh.”
A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire Service said: “We used tools to access the engine to isolate the power to the engine and made the vehicle safe.”