School lift plunge girl saved by her wellies

A TEENAGER who fell 20 feet down a lift shaft at her school was only saved from serious injury because she was wearing her wellies.

Morgan Seaton, 15, already suffered a phobia of lifts before the accident at Liberton High School which left her with four broken vertebrae.

The keen dancer from Cameron Toll was today recovering in hospital after landing on the shaft’s metal bottom and the Health and Safety Executive has launched an investigation.

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She posted a Facebook message thanking friends for their support and adding that she felt “like a stickman” but would be “back to my usual self soon”.

Doctors said the teen, who has been terrified of lifts her whole life, was “very, very lucky” to be alive.

But her mother, Myra, 53, said it would have been a lot worse if her daughter had not been wearing her wellies.

She said: “The hospital said if she had been wearing her pumps or heels, her ankles would have shattered.

“At the time she was screaming, and her friends who were with her saw her go down the gap. They were hysterical.

“Morgan’s had a pulled hamstring so she’s been having to use the lift. She was on crutches until two weeks ago.

“From what we know, the lift seems to have broken down between floors and a member of staff had managed to open the doors, then tried to get her out. But there was a gap of about a metre [between the lift and the opening] and Morgan slipped and fell down the 20-foot shaft.

“The school had been having issues with the lift, it was only fixed the day before.”

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Mrs Seaton said the fall would hit her daughter extra hard because of her lift phobia.

“It’s a shame because she was just getting used to lifts. She had to take the lift because of her bad leg, but I think that’s it now. She’ll not be stepping into one again.”

Morgan was rushed to the ERI after the accident at 9.45am. Today she remains in hospital, where she will stay until given the all-clear.

Mrs Seaton said: “Luckily she’s fine, apart from her back and the shock. She has a sore neck and is very badly bruised on her back. Amazingly her hamstring is fine.

“The doctor pulled me aside and told me that Morgan was very, very, lucky.”

In a Facebook message from her hospital bed, Morgan told friends: “Thank you so much for all your amazing support today! I’m doing away been kept in but I’ll be back to my usual self soon. Hate not being able to move feel like a stickman. So so sore :( I’ve woke up with pains across my belly and stuff :(“

Boyfriend Bradley Donaldson, a Hibs youth player, added: “Morgan wants to thank you all for the comments, texts and private mails. She really appreciates it. Hopefully she makes a speedy recovery.”

A spokesman for the Health and Safe Executive said: “We are investigating the incident and have been on site. We will take appropriate action.”

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But one school insider revealed the lift doors should not have been forced open.

He said: “It was a bit of a muck-up on the school’s part. The lift failed between floors, somebody on the school side opened the doors to get them out of the lift, and in the process the girl fell through the gap.

“They shouldn’t open lift doors if it is stuck. The proper procedure is to wait for rescue.”

Councillor Tom Buchanan today called for a full investigation into the incident and a safety check of every school lift in the city.

He said: “We want to ensure pupils and teachers are working in a safe environment.”

A council spokesman said: “We have initiated an investigation and we will be cooperating fully with the Health and Safety Executive.”