Pupil rushed to hospital after falling down school lift shaft

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a teenage girl fell down a lift shaft at her school after the elevator became stuck between floors.

The 15-year-old was rescued by firefighters and taken to hospital for scans to see if she had suffered spinal injuries.

She was breathing and conscious as she was brought up on a spinal board, and it is understood doctors were planning to discharge her yesterday.

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Edinburgh city council has launched an internal inquiry into how the accident at Liberton High School happened.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is also investigating, and an inspector visited the school yesterday.

It is understood the girl was among several pupils in the lift when it broke down at about 9:50am yesterday.

The doors were prised open with the lift stuck between floors and the pupils tried to climb down to the floor below.

However, the teenager is understood to have fallen back between the gap to the bottom of shaft below – a drop of between 15 and 20 feet.

Edinburgh city council has been unable to confirm what happened in any detail, but it is understood the school had experienced problems with the lift in recent weeks.

The girl’s family declined consent for NHS Lothian to release details of her condition to the media.

Five fire engines and 20 firefighters were called to the incident yesterday, and the pupil was rescued shortly after 10:30am.

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A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said: “We arrived just before 10am. Specialist line rescue crews attended the incident.

“We brought her back up on a spinal board, which is standard procedure.”

The spokeswoman added: “She suffered quite a fall, which has variously been described as five metres or 16ft, but could have been as much 20ft.

“She was conscious throughout and talking to the crews.

“She was clearly in some neck and back pain and was taken by ambulance to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to undergo spinal scans to see what damage had occurred.”

An Edinburgh city council spokesman yesterday confirmed that the fall was subject to an investigation.

“We can confirm that a Liberton High School pupil, a 15-year-old girl, fell approximately five metres in a lift shaft at the school this morning,” he said.

“The emergency services were called immediately and the girl’s parents were informed and the pupil is now at hospital.

“We have initiated an investigation into the incident and we will be co-operating fully with the Health & Safety Executive.”

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A Health & Safety Executive spokeswoman added: “HSE is investigating the incident and had an inspector on site today.

“We have a range of tools at our disposal and it will depend on what they find as to what action we will take, which could include recommending prosecution.”