JULIA HORTON and DAMIEN HENDERSON A three-year-old boy died yesterday after suffering serious head injuries in an accident at the Royal Highland Show.

The little boy is said to have been playing near concrete bollards at the agricultural show at Ingliston, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, when the incident happened at around 1.30pm.

He was rushed to the city's Royal Hospital for Sick Children, but medics were unable to save him. He died of his injuries at around 2.50pm.

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Witnesses said yesterday the boy had pulled one or more concrete bollards on top of him while playing with a rope strung between them. It is thought the child was a member of a farming family who had a stall at the show, and he had gone to play.

Liam McGee, 19, who was working in the event's car park when the tragedy occurred, said he thought the youngster had been playing.

He said: "It looked like he was on his own at the time. I didn't actually see the accident but I was close by.

"I heard the child was playing between two unattached concrete bollards which were roped together. He pushed the rope downwards and the bollards keeled over and landed on top of him.

"Security were going mad trying to keep the public away from the area so the ambulance could get through.

"The crew worked on him for almost an hour before taking him away."

Lothian and Borders Police said yesterday that the youngster was believed to have been playing in the vicinity of gate six at the north car park, a public area outside the main showground.

The gate is understood to have been used as an entry point for livestock vehicles and was not a public entrance.

Police could not confirm last night how the three-year-old sustained his injuries, although a spokeswoman said no cars were involved.

Meanwhile police and community safety officers from Edinburgh City Council have launched an full investigation to find out exactly what happened.

Officers have asked for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward.

A police spokesman said: "The three-year-old died as a result of a head injury. At the moment, we don't know exactly how the child injured his head.

"Inquiries are ongoing to find out how it happened.

"Initial indications are that he was playing near some concrete bollards within gate six of the north car park, which is a public area but is outside the main showground."

The area has been sealed off and was expected to remain so for some time. A number of police officers remained at the scene yesterday afternoon.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said the youngster was treated by ambulance crews who were based at the event.

He said: "We do have ambulance resources at the Royal Highland Show throughout the show. They attended the incident and the crews treated the patient and he was taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh."

Ray Jones, chief executive of show organisers, the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, said: "This has been a tragic accident and our thoughts and sympathies are with the boy's family at a very difficult time. The matter is in the hands of the police and the investigative authorities with whom we will co-operate fully."