A petrochemical plant in Grangemouth has been partially evacuated after a gas leak.

The leak was discovered in a pipeline on a gas manufacturing area at the Ineos site in central Scotland at midday on Tuesday.

Emergency services were called to the scene and the south side of the site has been evacuated and roads have been closed.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service sent eight vehicles to the scene to support the energy giant's on-site fire engines.

The ambulance service sent a special operations response team but it is understood no casualties are expected.

Ineos said in a statement: "At noon we detected a leak on a pipeline inside our KG (Kinneil Gas) manufacturing plant at Ineos Grangemouth.

"Emergency services are in attendance and we requested that Police Scotland close the Wholeflats Road as a precautionary measure.

"The incident management team have been mobilised to manage the situation.

"Purely as a precaution and to allow our response team to manage the situation, we have closed a number of access gates and are allowing only essential personnel to enter the south side of the site.

"All non-essential Ineos personnel who would normally be working in this area have been requested to report to their line manager."

Falkirk police said in a statement: "Emergency services are currently at the scene of an incident at Grangemouth which happened at around 12.15pm today.

"All emergency services, local authority and partners are in attendance.

"A number of access roads in Grangemouth area are closed and drivers are asked to avoid the area and find alternative routes."

Pupils at primary and secondary schools in Grangemouth were kept indoors over lunchtime as a precaution on request from the police, a Falkirk Council spokesman said.

He said there were currently no plans to prevent the children from going home at the usual time.

Police later confirmed the incident has been contained at the site and advised members of the public to "go about their normal business".

In a statement, the force said: "Emergency services have responded to a major incident following a gas leak at the Ineos site at Grangemouth.

"The incident was initially reported at 12.15pm on Tuesday May 2 and a multi-agency response was initiated.

"Superintendent Brian Auld can confirm that the incident has been contained on site and expert personnel are in attendance."

Union Unite said the leak is "concerning" and underlines the need for Ineos to work with staff on safety.

The union claims the firm has taken steps to derecognise union members in sections of the plant.

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: "The leak reported at Ineos Grangemouth is a very concerning development.

"Unite has written to the company requesting an urgent meeting in order to ascertain the cause of the leak."

He added: "I urge the managers now to accept that co-operation is the best policy when it comes to ensuring that Grangemouth stays safe, and drop this damaging and needless effort to break the union.

"The public need to have confidence that this site is being run on co-operation, not confrontation."

Workers arriving at the plant for their shift were greeted by road closure signs.

They were turned away from gate five, where members of the media had gathered.

No-one was permitted to go any further inside the plant and police, who had blocked the road, turned away those who tried.

The road closure sign was surrounded by an area which was coned off.