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Work under way to take down damaged gantry at Highland Park as councillor calls for investigation

Work gets underway to remove a damaged Gantry outside Highland Park Distillery
Work under way outside Highland Park Distillery. Andrew Stewart/DCT Media

Work is now under way to remove a damaged gantry running above the road next to the Highland Park Distillery.

The gantry, which houses a pipe, was damaged by a lorry carrying a caravan on Sunday morning.

Police have confirmed that a 52-year-old man has been charged in connection with the incident at the A961 Kirkwall to Holm road.

A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

Work began on Tuesday to take the gantry down, with the road closed between Easdale Loan and Heathery Loan.

Orkney Islands Council is asking people to keep a safe distance from the area and observe safety fencing and barriers.

It’s expected that the road will stay shut until the end of this week.

Incident shuts down production at Highland Park Distillery

Highland Park has suspended production and tours in light of the incident.

Drivers are being asked to be mindful when using alternate routes through residential areas. The signed diversion is via the B9052 to Toab and the A960 airport road.

The Edrington Group, which owns Highland Park, has said no one was hurt in the incident and the vehicle was not associated with the distillery.

Meanwhile, newly re-elected Kirkwall East councillor John Ross Scott has called for an investigation into how the incident happened.

He said: “The overhead Highland Park pipeline in Holm Road has been there for many years. Most folk have taken little heed of it until now. It has just been accepted as part of the landscape.”

“But we now know that, as a result of this incident, danger lurks there and while the damage was to the pipeline things could have been a lot worse.

“We now have a fairly major road closure on safety grounds, a distillery without power, and a top visitor centre closed.

“Hopefully, things will be back to a degree of normality by the end of the week but I urge the Edrington Group and the powers that be to undertake a full examination of the situation and assess other options including perhaps diverting the pipeline under the road.”

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