Police in Fife are keeping an open mind as a probe continues into how a man sustained severe injuries in an explosion in Pittenweem last week.
Connor Smith, 20, is understood to be recovering at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital after suffering what were described as “life changing” injuries in the horrific incident in Milton Road on Thursday evening.
Emergency services rushed to the scene shortly after 7pm and an investigation was immediately launched when it emerged Mr Smith – a former school pupil at Waid Academy in Anstruther – had apparently been handling and working with combustible materials.
It has been suggested locally the incident may have involved an agricultural bird scarer, although that has not been verified by police.
Authorities have also refused to confirm or deny the extent of Mr Smith’s injuries, amid rumours that he may have lost a hand as a result of the blast.
However, his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
Detective Inspector Graham Fenton said: “Our enquiries are at early stage, it would appear that whilst working with a combustible material an explosion took place which has caused severe injuries.
“At no time was there a threat to the public.It would appear to be a tragic accident.”
The close-knit community is still reeling from what happened.
Residents reported hearing a loud “firework-like” noise at around 7pm, and locals said the blast was so loud it could be heard at the far end of Milton Road.
It is understood Mr Smith and a friend, named locally as Finlay Innes, ran from an outbuilding, screaming, and summoned help from a relative who lived nearby.
“Neighbours at the end of the street heard it,” said a resident, who did not wish to be named.
“It was loud. The place was later full of emergency services.”
In the days following the incident, police maintained a presence at the scene.
The accident happened in an outbuilding behind a warehouse formerly used by a local fish merchant.
According to local sources, the outbuilding is a small workshop which belongs to Connor’s grandfather.
A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it had sent two appliances after receiving a call at 7.11pm on Thursday.
“Crews delivered first aid to a male casualty who was then transferred into the care of paramedics,” he added.
“They left the scene after ensuring the area was made safe.”