Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Pair found dead at luxury hotel

Two people have been found dead at a luxury hotel in Edunburgh

A man and woman have been found dead following a suspected chemical incident at a luxury hotel.

Their bodies were discovered in a room at the five-star Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh at about 12.15pm on Thursday, Police Scotland said.

"Inquiries are at an early stage and the deaths are being treated as unexplained at this time," a police spokesman said. Suicide is not being ruled out by detectives.

The sixth floor of the hotel was evacuated and a large cordon put in place outside the hotel entrance in North Bridge along the pavement towards the Balmoral Hotel in Princes Street.

The Scotsman Hotel is just off the historic Royal Mile and a short distance from Princes Street, the city's main shopping thoroughfare. The busy summer season is under way as thousands of performers and tourists flock to Scotland's capital for the Fringe Festival, which officially begins on Friday.

Speaking at the scene, Chief Inspector Murray Dykes said: "At about 12.15pm today the body of a man and woman were discovered within a floor in the Scotsman Hotel. There's been a full turnout of police, fire and ambulance. At the moment we are treating the deaths as unexplained. We will be doing a full forensic recovery of the bodies and inquiries will continue later today."

The investigation is at an early stage and the ages or nationalities of the deceased have yet to be established.

Asked about the possible chemical aspect of the incident, Mr Dykes said: "There has been a hefty response for this. We're treating all things as they come in. The reason that there has been a full turnout is because we are taking full precautions at the moment." He stressed that the hotel is now safe.

It is understood that a container of chemicals was found in the room. A chemical incident response was mobilised by the fire service, which saw around 25 firefighters, three pumps and a support crew at the scene.

A detection, identification and monitoring unit was also there to check for hazardous materials. Firefighters wore protective clothing such as gas-tight suits and breathing apparatus.

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