Man who died after house explosion in Edinburgh named

The scene in Baberton Mains Avenue, Edinburgh, after an 84-year-old man died after an explosion (Jane Barlow/PA)
The scene in Baberton Mains Avenue, Edinburgh, after an 84-year-old man died after an explosion (Jane Barlow/PA)

An 84-year-old man who died after an explosion at an Edinburgh house has been named locally as James Smith.

Police officers were called to the Baberton area at 10.25pm on Friday after “multiple reports” about the blast.

A 43-year-old woman and 54-year-old man were taken to hospital. Their condition was unknown on Saturday evening.

Mr Smith was in a neighbouring property, the PA news agency understands.

Police said there are no suspicious circumstances.

Mr Smith’s next of kin have been told of his death, it is understood.

People were evacuated from a number of homes and the road, Baberton Mains Avenue, was still shut on Saturday morning.

Pictures showed a house destroyed, with bricks strewn across the road.

Police officers remained at the scene.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said five engines attended and two people were rescued from the ruins of the home before their arrival.

The service left the scene at 6.39am on Saturday after handing control to Police Scotland.

A spokeswoman for gas distributor SGN said it was brought in to help emergency services and “ensure the immediate vicinity” was “made safe”.

Police at the scene in Edinburgh
Bricks were left strewn across the road (Lesley Martin/PA)

She said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the family of the man who has tragically died as well as those who have been injured.

“While it is too early to speculate as to what has happened, we are working closely with the authorities to help discover the cause.”

Some locals reported hearing the explosion as far away as Gilmerton, a suburb miles from the blast.

The scene on Baberton Mains Avenue
The blast was reportedly heard miles away (Lesley Martin/PA)

Neighbours said they felt their homes shaking, while one person said they heard the explosion from inside a cinema in nearby Wester Hailes.

Cammy Day, leader of Edinburgh City Council, said: “This is incredibly sad news for the city and all of our thoughts are with those affected.

“We’re very grateful to the emergency services who responded so quickly and tirelessly last night, evacuating the scene and making the surrounding area safe.

“I know that council officers assisted into the early hours of this morning and continue to stand ready to support all agencies and the local community.”

Sue Webber, a Scottish Tory MSP for the Lothian region, said on social media: “Such tragic news, in such a close community.

“Thank you to all the emergency services that attended. My thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by this incident.”