Explosions heard outside shopping centre as ‘three vehicles set on fire’

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Emergency services have been scrambled to an area near a UK shopping centre following reports of an explosion.

Terrified residents reported hearing explosions near Westside Plaza shopping centre in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Fire crews were called to the scene at 12.02pm and remain in the area, EdinburghLive reports.

It is believed that a number of gas canisters which were on the back of a vehicle caught fire, with an eyewitness telling Edinburgh Live they subsequently exploded.

Three vehicles are reported to have also caught fire.

Two fire appliances and police are in attendance. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has said there have been no reported casualties so far.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson told the Daily Star: “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.”

Road closures are in place in the surrounding area while the flames are put out.

Council-run social media account Edinburgh Travel News confirmed: "Murrayburn Road is currently *CLOSED* between Hailesland Road and Westside Plaza due to an ongoing incident. Emergency services are in attendance."

A Police Scotland spokesperson told the Daily Star: “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.”

Some local buses have now been affected with diversions in place.

Lothian Buses confirmed that services 22 and 400 are affected and are taking an alternative route.

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

People took to social media to share their panic following the incident.

One, who posted images on Twitter, wrote: “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.

Westside Plaza shopping centre is home to a range of shops, including a cinema and supermarkets.

Daily Star has contacted the Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland for further information.

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