Page last updated at 17:22 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Russian family 'jumped to deaths' from Glasgow flats

Police at the scene
Emergency services were called the flats on Sunday morning

Three people who plunged to their deaths from a multi-storey flat in Glasgow were a Russian family seeking asylum in the UK, the BBC understands.

The father, mother and son had been granted asylum in Canada but left after a dispute with the authorities there.

Their application to remain in the UK had recently been refused but they had not been issued with a removal order.

The apparent triple suicide happened on Sunday at the Red Road flats complex in the Springburn area of the city.

The BBC understands the family first arrived in the UK in 2007.

According to a source familiar with the case, the family had been told that they had to leave their flat in Springburn after their application to stay was refused.

This is a terrible tragedy and the thoughts of myself and the community are with the families of those who died in this tragic event
Paul Martin
MSP for Glasgow Springburn

No removal order had been issued, however, and they were advised to seek help from the Scottish Refugee Council to find alternative accommodation.

The family are believed to have jumped to their deaths shortly before 0845 GMT on Sunday.

The bodies were discovered by the concierge at the tower block after they had fallen from the 15th floor.

Police said there did not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.

Members of Scottish charity Positive Action in Housing said they would demonstrate outside the offices of the UK Borders Agency (UKBA) in Glasgow later.

They claim the family who fell to their deaths had received a final notice from the agency demanding that they leave the UK.

Many of the Red Road high-rise flats are unoccupied as the local housing agency is moving residents to new accommodation.

Police at the scene
The two men and a woman had plunged from the 15th floor

Glasgow Housing Association said the block at 63 Petershill Drive is currently let to the YMCA.

BBC News Scotland correspondent Lorna Gordon said: "Several of the blocks in this area are let out to the YMCA who house asylum seekers and refugees seeking leave to remain.

"These blocks are iconic in the Glasgow skyline, there is a large police presence in the area, they are canvassing people who live here to try to get more information as to the identities of the individuals."

It is understood the block involved holds a mixture of asylum seekers, refugees and other residents, but has partly been cleared in preparation for a demolition programme.

One resident in the block where the incident occurred said those involved had moved into the flats about two months ago.

Forensic officers at the scene
Forensic officers have been carrying out investigations at the scene

Glasgow Springburn MSP Paul Martin said: "This is a terrible tragedy and the thoughts of myself and the community are with the families of those who died in this tragic event."

Concern about the deaths was also expressed by Positive Action in Housing, a Scottish charity which supports and campaigns for refugees and asylum seekers in the local communities.

Its director, Robina Qureshi, said: "We are concerned about who these people are and whether they were claiming asylum in this country, whether they had recently been given a negative decision by the UK Borders Agency, and whether they were our service users or volunteers."

All eight tower blocks in the Red Road complex, which are up to 30 storeys high, are due to be demolished in a phased programme which will start in the spring.

They were the tallest tower blocks in Europe at the time they were built in the 1960s.

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