The team are waiting at the garden gate. They have identified the possible location of a live casualty. The Fire Service are attempting to rescue them and the team must wait for confirmation if they were successful. Hugh McMillan, Willie McMartin, Tom Penman and Robert Barrie.

On the morning of the 14th October 1989 a radio report was monitored which stated that a building collapse had occurred in Edinburgh.

An offer of help was placed with the Fire Service who almost immediately accepted it. Central Scotland Police were contacted and asked for an escort to the scene as it was reported that road to the area was blocked.

The team assembled with its sound location system and small gear and a traffic car picked them up. After a very fast run they were in attendance within 15 minutes of leaving Grangemouth. They were tasked to try and locate any casualties and if lucky the Fire Service would remove them.

One positive location was noted very soon after starting and the only live casualty was removed approx 1 hour later. On return to the building a second positive location was found but work on this rescue was halted when the Health and Safety Officers stepped in to close the site.

The team enter the damaged building via a first floor window next door. They take with them a sound location unit which found the casualty alive and allowed the Fire service to go directly to the location.

The Fire Service shoot rescue workers onto the rubble pile via a turntable ladder.

The view from the rear of the incident. This shows how the Fire Service deployed a turntable ladder to help access the rubble pile.


The view at the front of the incident. There looks to be little damage to the building.

Some hours later the roof was dropped onto the rubble using a large excavator. Work on the rescue recommenced and a body was removed within approx 2 hours.

When all were accounted for the team was stood down and driven home by the police.

It was later established that at 7.25am the operation of an electrical switch or other source of spark had provided the ignition for the explosion, collapsing the tenement and killing Ms Nicola Donnelly, 21, a student from Airdrie, and Mr Peter Small, 35, a college lecturer, who both lived in flats in the building.

The only person found alive is removed from front of the building.

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