Schoolgirl loses foot in mower accident

A SCHOOLGIRL'S foot was cut off in a tragic farm accident after she slipped under a tractor being driven by her father.

The ten-year-old girl, who has not yet been named, was with her father at the Mains of Murthly Farm, in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, when the accident happened shortly after 11am yesterday.

Her father was driving a tractor at the 550 acre farm and she was walking beside a lawn mower trailer towed by the farm vehicle when she slipped under the mower.

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A police source said the girl's foot was severed "instantly".

The girl was comforted by her father, who called emergency services. Tayside Police arrived shortly after but were delayed by the remoteness of the farm, and had to arrive by a 4x4 vehicle.

A local doctor treated the girl while awaiting the arrival of the air ambulance from Glasgow.

She was then flown to Dundee's Ninewells Hospital for further assessment and treatment, and her father attended with her.

It is understood the girl was from the Perth area.

A Tayside Police spokesman said: "Officers attended and found a ten-year-old girl with a serious foot injury.

"Early inquiries would indicate that the girl had been walking alongside a tractor pulling a lawn mower trailer when she slipped under the mower, amputating her right foot.

"Her condition is currently described as serious but not life threatening. As with all industrial accidents the Health and Safety Executive has been informed and a representative will be attending to carry out their own inquiries."

Mains of Murthly farm is owned by John McDiarmid, and is run on a day-to-day basis by his son Calum.

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John McDiarmid said that his son was yesterday at Ninewells hospital comforting the girl's parents.

Mr McDiarmid said: "The girl's father has been a full-time employee of mine for many years. A very good and valuable employee at that. I have been away on business and was not actually here at the time of the accident.

"All I can really say is that my thoughts are with the poor wee lassie and her mother and father at this time."

He confirmed the family lived in Perth but said he had to respect the privacy of his employee and would not name him or the girl.

Calum McDiarmid said he was at the farm at the time of the tragic accident.

He was with the girl's parents shortly after her arrival at Ninewells Hospital.

He said yesterday: "She is absolutely fine and she's stable."

One local resident, who would often see the girl with her father at the farm, said: "I don't know her name but she is a lovely little girl and I hope she's going to be fine."

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An HSE spokeswoman said: "HSE is investigating. An inspector has been on site today."

The girl was understood to be undergoing surgery last night at Ninewells.Given the severity of the injury, it is not known whether attempts to try to re-attach the foot will prove successful.