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ANDREW MILLIGAN/PA IMAGES Emergency services at Imperial Dock in Leith, Edinburgh, where a ship has become dislodged from its holding

Seven remain in hospital after ship tip accident at Scottish drydock

Seven people remain still in hospital today after a ship toppled in a Scottish dry dock yesterday.

SEVEN PEOPLE ARE still in hospital today after a US Navy ship toppled in a Scottish dry dock yesterday, injuring 35 people in total.

The US Navy research boat toppled over yesterday at Imperial Dock, Leith, Scotland, and the 3,000 tonne vessel remained at a 45 degree angle. The public were asked not to travel to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary unless it was a major emergency.

NHS Lothian hospital said: “Five people remain in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh following the major incident at Imperial Dock in Leith, and our thoughts continue to be with everyone affected by this incident.”

All other casualties who were being treated in NHS Lothian yesterday have now been discharged from hospital. NHS Fife said this morning that two patients remain in its hospitals.

The ‘Petrel’, a 76 metre vessel previously used by the US Navy for research and operated by Oceaneering International, toppled over yesterday morning when many workers at the dock were present. Employees have since described the situation as “so scary”. 

James Walsh, 39, a scaffolder on the docks, was working nearby when he heard the noise of the incident. Walsh said, “It’s scary. Very scary. Just makes you evaluate everything really.

No-one goes to work to be involved in any kind of accident.”

ezgif-4-0fa97b3fad The incident occurred amid high winds in the area (Jane Barlow/PA)

Investigations are ongoing to find out how the boat was toppled over by Scottish Police and the Health and Safety Executive. A HSE spokesperson said that inspectors would be present on scene today to investigate the incident.

A US Navy spokesperson said “We are working closely with the on-site authorities, who are in the best position to help those in need and to provide status updates. We will continue to communicate with our contacts at the scene in order to understand what occurred, the actions being taken, and the long-term impacts.”

The spokesperson added that the US Navy’s “thoughts and prayers” are with the injured and their families, and wish them a quick recovery.

The Petrel has been moored at Leith since September 3, 2020 due to “operational challenges” from the pandemic, according to a statement on the vessel’s social media page.

Additional reporting by Muiris O’Cearbhaill

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