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Fire on Anthrax Island: Dramatic pictures shared on social media

Gruinard Island was "engulfed" in flames on Saturday evening. Picture by Nessie Gearing.
Gruinard Island was "engulfed" in flames on Saturday evening. Picture by Nessie Gearing.

An infamous island off the west coast of Scotland used for testing bio-weapons in the 1940s was “engulfed in flames” on Saturday evening.

Dramatic images emerged across social media showing flames rising up from Gruinard Island and plumes of smoke billowing across the skies.

The fire service confirmed it had no involvement with the blaze at the island, also known as Anthrax Island.

The service had earlier released a wildfire warning following a number of blazes in recent days.

It is not known what time the fire started, however, according to reports on social media locals could see smoke from the island around 7pm.

Pictures of the “inferno” started circulating later in the evening and it could be seen from the mainland, which is less than a mile away.

The flames were so tall residents on the Isle of Lewis were reporting seeing the blaze.

The uninhabited island between Ullapool and Gairloch was contaminated by deadly anthrax spores during the Second World War.

It became known as Death Island after government scientists used the site to try to create an “anthrax bomb”.

The island remains uninhabited following its decontamination 35 year ago.

Asked if the effects of the fire poses any dangers to those living nearby, an MOD spokeswoman said: “Gruinard Island was decontaminated and deemed safe in 1987.

“As part of the sale of the island in 1990, the MOD agreed to undertake further work, if necessary, within 150 years of its sale.”

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