REVELLERS in the Cowgate had a narrow escape after a sandbag was thrown 60ft off George IV Bridge on to the ground below, narrowly missing pedestrians.
Police today condemned the “mindless act of recklessness”, which could have ended with a fatality if the 10kg sandbag had struck a passer-by.
Council chiefs also branded the incident a “despicable act of vandalism” and ordered extra patrols on the bridge while roadworks there continued.
The sandbag had been removed from works taking place at a bus stop on George IV Bridge before being hurled into the Cowgate at around 12.30am yesterday.
It was the latest in a series of incidents in recent years where heavy objects have been thrown off city bridges onto streets below.
In the most serious incident, 23-year-old student Kate Flannery was left paralysed after being hit by a traffic cone thrown off George IV Bridge in November 2006.
Councillor Paul Edie, the city’s community safety leader, said night-time patrols by wardens would be increased during works.
He said: “This despicable act of vandalism had the potential to cause someone serious harm and I would urge anyone who has information on the incident to contact Lothian and Borders Police.”
Officers are examining CCTV footage from the area in a bid to identify the culprit. A police spokesman said the sandbag narrowly missed pedestrians, and appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.
He added: “This was a mindless act of criminal recklessness, the consequences of which could have been very severe. Anyone who has any information that can assist our inquiries should get in touch.”
In July 2007, Andrew Smith, 30, was ordered to carry out 180 hours community service for throwing the cone which struck Ms Flannery after she appealed for him to be spared jail.