Explosions near shopping centre heard for miles as ‘three vehicles set on fire’

Thick black smoke was seen billowing from bright orange flames after three vehicles reportedly exploded in Edinburgh.

Fire crews were scrambled to the scene close to Westside Plaza shopping centre in Wester Hailes at 12:02pm and they remain in the area.

A number of people reported hearing explosions from the scene after nearby gas canisters caught light.

Dramatic photos showed huge plumes of smoke filling the air.

Sharing photos from the scene, one Twitter user said: “Just been an explosion outside Westside Plaza Shopping Centre, Wester Hailes – thick black smoke in surrounding air.”

Another reported seeing “exploding cars” across the road from Westside Plaza.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed they are currently at the scene dealing with the ongoing incident and police are also in attendance.

It is not yet known if there are any injuries.

Edinburgh Travel tweeted: “Murrayburn Road is currently CLOSED between Hailesland Road and Westside Plaza due to an ongoing incident.

“Emergency services are in attendance.”

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 12.02pm on Tuesday, May 18 to reports of vehicles on fire at the front of the Westside Plaza Shopping Centre, Edinburgh.

“Operations Control mobilised three appliances and firefighters are tackling a fire involving three commercial vehicles.

“Crews currently remain at the scene and there are no reported casualties.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were called around 12.05pm to a report of a works vehicle on fire in Murrayburn Road, Edinburgh.

“Officers are currently in attendance along with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“There are no reports of injuries but a nearby library has been closed as a precaution and residents have been asked to keep their windows closed due to smoke.

“Murrayburn Road is closed in both directions and Hailesland Road Murrayburn Place are also closed. Drivers are asked to avoid the area.”