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Ambulance officer Darren Mochrie
"We were faced with two casualties, both suffering minor injuries"
 real 28k

Eyewitness James Maclean
"The masonry came through Ryan's Bar and went right down on to a girl's head"
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Thursday, 29 June, 2000, 19:53 GMT 20:53 UK
Waitress killed by falling masonry
Accident scene
Emergency services were quickly on the scene
A waitress has been killed and another person has been seriously injured after masonry fell on to a busy Edinburgh pub.

Blocks of masonry tumbled from a four-storey building in Hope Street and tore through the pavement awning of Ryan's Bar, showering staff and customers below.

Eyewitnesses said the waitress, who was in her 20s, caught the brunt of the debris. She was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in a critical condition but died later.

A 24-year-old man, who was also hit by the masonry, was said to be in a serious condition.

I was about to cross the road at the traffic lights and saw the roof coming down

Eyewitness James McLean
Lothian Borders Police said a man aged 71 and a 73-year-old woman were taken to hospital and treated for cuts but were later released.

Two woman aged 36 and 49 were treated at the scene.

Police said the masonry fell on to the pavement outside the bar where people were drinking at tables on a sunny afternoon.

Senior ambulance officer, Darren Mochrie, said four crews were sent out when emergency calls were received.

He said: "On our arrival we were faced with two casualties both suffering multiples injuries because of falling masonry.

Medical staff
Medical staff treat a victim caught by the debris
"The crews immediately stabilised these patients and both were taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

"We also treated another three people inside the premises for flying glass injuries and one of these people was taken to hospital with minor injuries."

The officer said his crews were faced with a "very dangerous situation" on arrival at the scene.

"A large crowd had gathered and there was still masonry potentially falling from the building so crews had to wear protective equipment and we've had to liaise very closely with the fire service."

Eyewitness James McLean said: "I was about to cross the road at the traffic lights and saw the roof coming down.

"It came through Ryan's bar and went right down on to a girl's head.

Serving customers

"I went over to see what I could do, I dialled 999 for an ambulance."

Inspector Ian Wright, of Lothian and Borders Police, said the barmaid had been serving customers when the accident happened.

Queensferry Street, Hope Street and Charlotte Square were closed to traffic and diversions put in place as police warned of serious rush hour delays in the city centre.

A police spokesman said: "The Health and Safety Executive have been informed and are expected to investigate the incident."

A firefighter inspects the upper storey
The dead woman was thought to have been an Australian but the spokesman said that the identities of the victims would be withheld until relatives have been informed.

Robert O'Maley, a conservation officer from Edinburgh council's building control department, said heavy coping stones from a section about seven metres long had fallen from the roof.

He said: "I can't comment on this case, but there have been no problems with the building previously as far as I'm aware."

The council said a dangerous building notice has been served on the owners of the premises and it would stay closed until it has been "made safe".

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