SIX firefighters were hurt after they were called to a car crash that had already been dealt with.
Two firefighters are in hospital after their 12-tonne vehicle left the road while racing to the scene of a reported road accident in East Lothian.
All six members of the crew were hurt and had to be cut out of their wrecked fire engine by fire service colleagues following the smash on the A6137 near Ballencrieff, East Lothian.
It has now emerged that the road accident they were going to had already been dealt with by police less than three hours earlier.
Police Scotland have confirmed that officers went to the crash involving a silver Renault Clio at about 7pm on Sunday.
The 35-year-old driver suffered minor injuries after his car crashed through a fence and came to rest on its side in a field. An ambulance gave the man treatment at the scene but the fire brigade were not called.
The same wreck – on the B1377 – was spotted later in the evening and reported to the fire bridgade at about 9.45pm.
The fire service called police to say they were on their way but the fire engine from Haddington, East Lothian, crashed about two miles from the scene at about 9.50pm.
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed: “We got a duplicate incident. We quite quickly realised there was a duplicate incident but by that time the fire service had already attended and their vehicle had overturned.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “It was a genuine call that we were responding to from a member of the public. It transpired that this had happened earlier.”
It is understood that 999 calls from the public can be routed to any one of the emergency services.
They frequently call each other but there is no centralised system for making sure all the emergency services know about incidents that have been dealt with.
Yesterday (Mon), the wrecked Clio was still lying by the road with a large yellow “Police aware” sticker attached.
It is not clear if it was placed after the first or second call out.
The crew of the fire engine were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after their vehicle left the road and crashed into a ditch. It was reported it had hit a pole.
The two crew members who remained in hospital yesterday are not thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries.
Yesterday morning, the fire engine had been removed from the scene but the steep embankment had been damaged and a power line hung low over the ditch. Red traffic cones marked out the erosion, which was on a steep bend in the road.
John Dickie, Local Senior Officer for the area said: “Our thoughts and best wishes are with our personnel who were injured in last night’s road traffic collision.
“All six were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary following the incident, four were subsequently released following treatment and two remain in hospital. We wish them all a speedy recovery. Welfare support has been put in place for all crew members and their families. Alternative fire cover arrangements have also been instigated for Haddington whilst affected personnel are off duty.”
A spokeswoman for the service added: “The cause of the accident is unknown and police Scotland are currently carrying out an investigation.”