Glasgow & West Scotland

New Stevenston fire attack 'was attempted murder'

explosion site
Image caption The building was destroyed by an explosion and fire

A man who suffered serious stab and burn injuries following an explosion in North Lanarkshire was the victim of a murder bid, police believe.

Officers received several calls about a disturbance, an explosion and a fire at a property in Hall Street, New Stevenston, on Tuesday night.

A short time later, a 38-year-old man arrived in a white van at Monklands District General Hospital.

He had suffered stab and burn injuries, and is in a serious condition.

Police Scotland said the incidents were linked and investigations were ongoing.

The two-storey building in New Stevenston partially collapsed after the fire broke out at about 23:40 on Tuesday.

Police said there had been an explosion followed by a "significant fire" which destroyed the building.

Image caption The building was next to a children's nursery

At least two men were seen going into the building and, following the explosion, two men left the building just prior to it going up in flames.

One of those two is believed to be the injured man who went to the hospital about 20 minutes later.

Det Supt Kenny Graham said the injured man had been chased by the driver of a light coloured car from Hall Street into Stevenston Street, where it had been reported that a man -possibly the same one - was chased by another man brandishing a weapon.

The car then made off along Stevenston Street towards Holytown.

'Criminal activity'

Det Supt Graham said: "Officers have been in the area all day checking CCTV and a number of people have come forward to police already and their information has been very helpful.

"However, we are still keen to hear from anyone else who was in the vicinity between 23:30 and midnight, who may have seen the car, the man with the weapon or indeed any information that will assist our enquiry.

"While we have not yet had access to the building, we believe that there has been some sort of criminal activity taking place there and that the attack on the man and the fire was linked to that.

"We do not consider this to be a random attack. We believe at this time that the injured man got his burns as a result of the fire/explosion."