A DUKE of Edinburgh award office was sealed off after the body of a man was discovered in a car parked nearby.
Police and firefighters, some of the them said to be wearing “hazmat” protective clothing, went to the scene in Edinburgh following reports that hazardous chemicals were involved.
The car, with the body still inside, was covered with a large white tent and a 8ft high by 30ft wide metal screen was also erected.
The scene of the mysterious death is just metres from the Award Shop, which is the trading arm of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
Police said the death was being treated as unexplained and refused to comment on whether they were looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
The dead man was named by a member of his family, who asked not to be named, as Lewis Moffatt, 31, from Dunfermline.
He has been posted as missing on a Hibs fans’ forum. The post said he had driven from Fife to Edinburgh in a Blue Ford Focus, on Thursday evening and was last seen in the Leith area. The post said he had switched off his phone and deleted his Facebook profile.
Mr Moffat’s brother, Stuart, came to the door of the family home in Dunfermline.
He said they still did not know exactly what happened, and were waiting to hear from the police.
He declined to say what his brother’s occupation was, or to give a photo of him to the press.
Neighbours on the estate said they did not know the family well but was saddened to hear their son had died.
And staff at the Award Shop insisted that the incident, which was reported at around 7.30pm on Tuesday was nothing to do with the organisation.
The incident happened on the Stewartfield Estate in the Newhaven area of the city. Members of a nearby gym and a number of people working late were evacuated.
The area still remained sealed off at lunchtime today.
One eyewitness reported seeing specialists in hazmat suits.
Graeme Coles, 32, saw the emergency vehicles arrive as he did cross-fit training at Bob’s Garage gym on the industrial estate.
He and the rest of his exercise class were evacuated by police and not allowed back until the morning.
He said: “Part of my training was running up and down the car park.
“When I came out for the first time there was a couple of fire engines and police there.
“Within about ten minutes a policewoman came to the door and said: “You have to get out”. We were evacuated at about twenty past seven.
“There must have been two or three fire engines, police, and there was a special response ambulance of the type used for cleanup operations.
“They dealt with it pretty well. One of my friends who I was training with said it was a gas leak.”
The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme is a charity-run activity programme for 14 – 24 year olds. It involves volunteering and outdoor expeditions.
It’s patron is HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
A spokeswoman said of the incident: “It’s not related to us. It’s nothing to do with us or anything to do with anyone who works with us. “
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in Edinburgh were called to the Stewartfield area shortly after 7pm on Tuesday 1 March following the discovery of a man’s body within a car.
“An operation involving Police Scotland and Scottish Fire & Rescue Service resources took place due to concerns regarding the presence of harmful chemicals, and there is no risk to the wider public.
“The death is currently being treated as unexplained and enquiries are ongoing.”