Couple found dead after 'chemical incident' in luxury Edinburgh hotel

Emergency services evacuated part of The Scotsman Hotel as teams in protective hazardous material suits investigated room following possible suicide

A couple has been found dead after what has been described as a “chemical incident” in a room at a 5-star hotel in Edinburgh.

The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered by staff on the sixth floor of the luxury Scotsman Hotel at around 12.15pm, after which fire services evacuated rooms, police cordoned off the entrance and emergency chemical response teams wearing protective “hazmat” suits were seen entering the building.

No one else was harmed, and the police are not treating it as a criminal investigation. A spokesman said:  “Inquiries are at an early stage and the deaths are being treated as unexplained at this time.”

Detectives are not ruling out suicide as an explanation. They said that there was no ongoing risk to other guests or staff at the hotel.

The incident comes just the day before the beginning of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival tomorrow and the city is very busy, with most hotel rooms occupied.

Among those evacuated were guests at a wedding reception taking place inside the hotel, which describes itself as one of Scotland’s finest and opened in 2001 when the Scotsman newspaper moved to new premises.

American tourist Betty Cuniberti, from San Francisco, told STV that she was in her room on the sixth floor when the fire alarm went off.

She said: ”There was a very loud bang on the door and when I opened it it was a fireman and somebody from the hotel saying it was being evacuated. They told me it was safe to take the elevator but I wasn't happy to do that so I took the stairs.

“I feel just terribly about what's happened. It's really tragic.”

Norma and Derek Cameron, visiting from Kelso in the Scottish Borders to watch the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, told the Associated Press they had not been allowed to return to their room on the eighth floor.

Mrs Cameron, 71, said: “We wanted to get in and get refreshed. The police weren't giving anything away. They just said that the hotel had been closed and everyone evacuated.

“It's horrible to think about. I'm not sure I want to go back in now.”

Speaking at the scene, Chief Inspector Murray Dykes stressed that the hotel is now safe. He said the “hefty response” from chemicals teams was no more than an indication that “full precautions” were being taken.

News
peopleChildren leave in tears as Santa is caught smoking and drinking
Arts and Entertainment
A host of big name acts recorded 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' in London on Saturday
musicCharity single tops chart
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall has become the eighth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing
tv
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
i100
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin