Aberdeen city centre was brought to a standstill last night after a man scaledAt least five police units, a fire engine and an ambulance were sent to try to recover the 34-year-old who had climbed up onto the plinth of the Edward VII statue which sits on the corner of Union Street and Union Terrace.
And as the man sat there for more than three hours, clutching the King’s granite leg, officers closed the streets around him, for fear he would jump off.
Major disruption to the city centre followed as buses were cancelled and Rosemount Viaduct was closed off outside HM Theatre to stop vehicles going down Union Terrace.
Bridge Street, Crown Street and Market Street were also closed down to traffic to stop traffic passing the statue.
And the newly opened Thai restaurant Chaophraya, which is located in the city’s old Monkey House, had to take customers coming in for their evening meal through the side door as a result of the closures.
Throughout the duration of the incident police tried to talk the man, who was wearing torn jeans and a checked shirt, down from the plinth he was perched on.
He could be seen repeatedly refusing their assistance and was only recovered at around 9.30pm when firefighters ushered him down using a height vehicle.
At the time of the disruption Inspector Dave Howson said: “We have an ongoing incident where a person is believed to be in distress. We are trying to resolve this.”
Crowds of people gathered to watch the ongoing incident at the blue and white police cordons which had been placed across the closed streets.
Buses were also forced into turning round and travellers on public transport on Union Street and Union Terrace were forced to make other arrangements to get home.
Those with cars parked nearby were also stopped from returning to their vehicles while the incident was ongoing.
One 25-year-old, who did not want to be named, said: “The road where my car is parked is blocked off by the police in both directions. I have been waiting for half an hour and I have no idea when I can go and get it back.”
The man was then taken away from the scene by the police. The roads were reopened by 9.40pm.
Following the incident a police spokeswoman said: “Police can advise that Union Street in Aberdeen has reopened after a closure to allow police and emergency services to assist a 34-year-old male.”