Worker describes horror moment billionaire's ship toppled over injuring 33 people
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A dock worker has described the terrifying moment a 250ft ship toppled over in Edinburgh, leaving dozens of people injured.
More than 20 people had to be taken to hospital after the incident took place at Imperial Dock in Leith, Edinburgh on Wednesday (22 March), when the ship became dislodged from its holding.
Strong winds in the area caused the ship, called the Petrel, to topple dramatically to a 45-degree angle.
The Scottish Ambulance Service sent 12 ambulances, an air ambulance, three trauma teams and other resources to the scene to treat those injured, while James Walsh, a scaffolder on the docks, described the situation as 'very scary'.
Walsh was working nearby when he heard a 'loud noise', though he admitted it 'wasn’t as noisy as you would think, for the catastrophe that it could possibly be'.
“We stopped what we were doing," he said. "I’m the foreman, so I just evaluated the situation, we were on the docks further up and we were advised we were fine where we were."
Unfortunately not everyone could say the same, as one worker who Walsh knows on the ship told the scaffolder he'd nipped to the toilet and returned to the disaster with no idea where his workmates were.
“It’s scary. Very scary. Just makes you evaluate everything really,” Walsh said.
“No-one goes to work to be involved in any kind of accident," he continued. "It’s so scary that you go to work and something like that can possibly happen. It’s bad enough having a near accident, that’s scary enough, or a minimal accident, but something like that in this day and age.”
Port Chaplain Pauline Robertson, from the Sailors’ Society, said those who witnessed the events had 'so much to take in'.
Describing the incident as 'horrific', she added: "It’s surreal in so many ways and it’s a lot to process.”
The Scottish Ambulance Service said 21 people were taken to hospital after the ship toppled over, and a further 12 were treated and discharged at the scene on Wednesday morning.
Police Scotland said all casualties were removed by 1.20pm, with Superintendent Mark Rennie assuring there is 'no risk to the wider public'.
"Inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what has happened," Rennie continued. "The Health and Safety Executive has been informed.”
The Petrel is a research vessel which belonged to the late billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen. It is now understood to be owned by a branch of the US Navy.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Tomafc83/PA
Topics: UK News