Schoolgirl falls 90ft after horror handlebar flip


By Rory Reynolds

A TEENAGE girl is tonight in hospital after flipping over her bike handlebars and plunging 90-feet down a gorge.

The 16-year-old high school pupil was airlifted to hospital by RAF helicopter after a biking trip in Perthshire went wrong.

A brave local GP managed to reach the bottom of the gorge, where the girl was left lying with stomach injuries for up to an hour-and-a-half.

Rescuers said the pupil from Menzieshill High School in Dundee was “very lucky” to survive.

She had been on an Ancrum Outdoor Centre trip at Rumbling Bridge, in Dunkeld, Perthshire yesterday (Wednesday).
 The centre has been dogged by similar incidents in recent years.


Two fire fighters, a paramedic and a spine-board were lowered down the gorge using cables to help the teenager until she could be rescued, at around 1pm.

A winchman from RAF Leuchars Search and Rescue team was then lowered into the gorge to secure the girl, before she was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “The patient was conscious and breathing, and suffering from cuts and bruises and complaining of stomach pains when rescue units found her.

“The hospital will do checks to see if any internal damage was caused, but she is very lucky not to have received more serious injuries from a 90-foot fall.”

The Ancrum Outdoor Centre was temporarily closed in October 2007 while the local authority and the Marine and Coastguard Agency investigated reports of youngsters ‘tombstoning’ off the Arbroath Cliffs into the sea.

One incident expert at the time described the activities as “an accident waiting to happen”.


In 2004 two youth leaders were charged with culpable and reckless conduct after an incident in August of that year.

But prosecutors dropped the charges in August 2005 after further investigation.

A Dundee City Council spokesman said the incident would be investigated.

“Everyone at Menzieshill High School and the education department wishes this pupil a full and speedy recovery from her fall.

“Her family were alerted as soon as possible after the accident and we will be keeping in close touch with them during her recovery.

“When the accident happened a group of pupils from the school was taking part in a fully supervised outdoor activity.

“The route they were taking has been used many times in the past by pupils on similar supervised cycling activities.

“We will co-operate fully with any external investigation and will also be carrying out our own assessment of the situation.”

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  1. It would appear that this girl has been involved in a freak accident and I hope she is okay.

    This rest of this article is really poor and without fact. lazy lazy journalism, something that is creeping more and more todays media. We used to lead the world in news, What happened????/

    The centre was NEVER closed in Oct 2007. The centre does not support Tombstoning it leads Coasteering. Is Googling too complicated ???

    The so called “incident expert” met with centre staff in 2005 and was happy with their activities. The centre also went out with RNLI staff to risk assess the site in their inshore boat and they too stated they were happy. The journalist who had joined the boat 6 weeks previously (the old sea dog!)! decided it sounded like a good story!! The RNLI press office and Divsional commander refused to meet to apoligise for their staffs comments even though they were inaccurate and not cleared by their own PR. I know this centre still coasteers on this coastline and have been at the forefront of getting a National Award for instructors.

    And has for the incident in 2004 its a pity the journalist never found out why the case was dropped. The location in that incident has now been well documented and there have been issues since, another group of people were caught out there in july 2009. But no outdoor centre, helicopters and press means no news papers!!! even although someone was badly hurt.

    This accident should be investigated but journalists should be clear on what they are commenting on. The public are fed up of the put down culture that follows risk taking activities.

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