Eight found dead at Glasgow hotel for homeless since April

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A homeless man wearing a protective face mask is seen in Westminster, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain

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image captionHundreds of homeless people in Glasgow and Edinburgh were placed in hotels when lockdown began

Eight people have been found dead at a hotel in Glasgow used to shelter homeless people during the pandemic.

Police are investigating the fatalities which were discovered at the Alexandra Thomson Hotel on Argyle Street between 25 April and 28 August.

It is understood the deaths of four men and three women were drug-related, while the death of one woman has been deemed “non-suspicious” by officers.

Glasgow City Council said the hotel was equipped with addiction support.

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As originally reported in The Scottish Sun, a 38-year-old woman was found dead in the hotel on 25 April, while a 21-year-old man was found on 17 May.

Two 43-year-old men were then discovered on 7 June and 21 June before a 25-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman were both found on 28 July.

A 49-year-old was then found dead on 27 August.

Officers have yet to confirm the cause of these fatalities following post mortem investigations.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionEight people have died at the Alexander Thomson Hotel in Argyle Street

However the death of a 48-year-old woman found at the hotel on 28 August has been confirmed as a non-suspicious death.

Regarding the incident on 28 July, Ch Insp Craig Walker said it was “a matter for the local authority where homeless people are accommodated” but acknowledged that many had “complex needs”.

‘Supporting complex needs’

When lockdown began in March, hundreds of rough sleepers were brought in off the streets to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

With temporary accommodation full, many were placed in hotels by the council.

The BBC understands staff at the Alexander Thomson Hotel were given training in the use of naxolone – a drug used to slow down breathing problems during a drug overdose.

Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership said their Housing First assessment team were working in the hotel to find people permanent accommodation “as it becomes available” with the lifting of Covid restrictions.

A spokeswoman said: “These deaths are tragic and our thoughts go out to the friends and families of those who have passed away.

“We have ensured the hotel is well supported by staff from voluntary organisations and the HSCP who provide in-reaching services and assistance to those who require it.

“These services provide accessible routes into mental health and addiction treatment services.

“We continue to review these arrangements with key partners regularly and where necessary, will make changes ensuring those with the most complex needs are supported.”

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