Dog dies after lift shaft fall in Muirhouse

Sasha died after falling down a lift shaft. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Sasha died after falling down a lift shaft. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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A DOG walker has told of the horror moment the pet she was looking after plunged 60 feet to its death down a lift shaft.

Five-year-old Japanese Akita and Staffordshire Bull terrier cross Sasha bounded out a third-floor flat in Muirhouse and lunged through the open lift doors.

Sasha's owner Lee Morris with Catherine Mulligan, who sometimes look after the dog. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Sasha's owner Lee Morris with Catherine Mulligan, who sometimes look after the dog. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

However, just minutes earlier, the elevator had become stuck between the third and fourth floors, meaning Sasha plummeted to the ground.

A man who had been using the lift when it broke down had managed to force the doors open and squeeze out on to the landing.

He had gone back to his flat to report the situation to the building’s concierge.

Devastated dog walker Catherine Mulligan, 25, said: “It all happened so quickly, it’s a bit of a blur.

I just remember seeing Sasha disappear down the hole with her back legs in the air.

Catherine Mulligan

“I had Sasha’s lead in one hand and was carrying my wee girl in the other. I just remember seeing Sasha disappear down the hole with her back legs in the air.”

Ms Mulligan had her two-year-old daughter Nicole with her at the time when she left the flat in May Court just before 9pm on Thursday.

The mum of four said: “I just didn’t know what to do, I was crying and screaming.

“Before I knew it there was a massive thud.

Sasha fell three floors down a lift shaft at May Court flats. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Sasha fell three floors down a lift shaft at May Court flats. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

“I think she probably shattered so many bones that she just died there and then.

“It’s a haunting memory I will never forget, I keep trying to get it out of my head but I can’t.”

She added: “What makes it even more difficult is that the kids keep asking where Sasha is and I don’t really know how to tell them.

“What’s happened is bad enough but I dread to think what would have happened if my wee girl had followed Sasha and also fallen down the hole.”

Happier times ... Sasha waits for an ice cream. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Happier times ... Sasha waits for an ice cream. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Ms Mulligan ran back into her flat to get her partner, who ran to see if he could help, but there was nothing anyone could do.

Sasha’s owner Lee Morris described his dog as the “child he never had” and admitted he had been left distraught.

The 57-year-old insisted that residents at May Court had been experiencing problems with the lift for several weeks.

He said: “Catherine and the kids would watch her from Monday to Friday for me and she loved going for a walk.

“I will miss her so much, she was such a brilliant dog.

“She loved going for a walk by the beach and running around in open spaces. It’s a tragedy.”

The lift has now been completely shut down while an investigation takes place.

A city council spokesman added: “This incident is currently being investigated by the council and the police.

“The lift has been switched off and alternative measures have been put in place for residents who need assistance.”

Police worked with fire crews to retrieve Sasha’s body from the bottom of the lift shaft.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “Police in Edinburgh were called to May Court in Pennywell Medway around 8.50pm on Thursday, January 14, following reports that a dog had fallen down a lift shaft.

“Police Scotland officers worked with our partners at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, and it was confirmed the dog sadly died at the scene.”