Schoolgirl tells of dramatic rescue after 20ft shaft fall

A SCHOOLGIRL today told how she will be sticking to the stairs from now on after escaping a dramatic 20ft plunge down a lift shaft at her school.

Morgan Seaton, 15, was only saved from more serious injury because she was wearing wellies which cushioned her fall.

The incident, at Liberton High School last Thursday, left the teen with four broken vertebrae and an injured neck – but doctors said she was “very, very lucky” that her ankles were not shattered.

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Today a bubbly Morgan, who has always been wary of lifts, said she was “relieved” to be back home, where she will probably rest up until after Christmas.

She said she could hardly remember the ordeal because she was jolted into a state of shock when she plummeted down the narrow gap.

She said: “I was with two friends when the lift broke down – it breaks down all the time. As we got to the first floor it jumped up a bit and broke down. Five minutes later one of the teachers shouted that it would be fine, then the doors were opened. They asked if we wanted to jump and we were so worried we said that we did.

“I went on to my front and lowered myself down, but my feet went through the gap [between the school floor and the lift]. I can’t really remember going down, but my head smacked against the wall and I was screaming, saying I couldn’t breathe as I was in so much shock.

“The deputy headteacher climbed down the ladder and was really good with me, staying until the ambulance and fire service arrived to rescue me.”

She added: “I remember looking up and seeing the gap and thinking ‘How did I get through there?’ My friends were still in the lift and they were screaming and crying. My friend said she saw my face as I was going down and she thought I’d be dead. She’s had a bit of a nightmare. She’s suffered a lot because of what she saw.”

Firefighters, including a specialist line rescue crew, mounted a rescue operation on Thursday after the incident at 9.45am. They used a spinal board to lift Morgan out of the gap, before she was rushed to the ERI.

The teenager said that she had always been wary of lifts, but will now never step in one again.

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She said: “When I was younger I remember getting stuck in a lift. I’ve never liked getting in them, but I had to because I had a bad hamstring. Now this has happened, I’ll never be in one again. I’m just so glad I wasn’t wearing heels, the doctors said my ankles would have shattered.

“I feel OK now, I can walk about and am gradually getting better, but my movement is limited. I’m taking medication and I’ll go for an X-ray in six weeks then start physio.

“My hamstring is surprisingly OK. It wasn’t OK before I got in the lift, but it’s amazingly OK now.

“I’m not sure when I’ll be going back to school but I’m going to get some work to do for the time being. I’d have to work downstairs if I went back now as I wouldn’t get back in a lift.”

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