20/12/2011 13:33 GMT | Updated 20/12/2011 13:38 GMT

Kirsty Scott Impaled On Spiked Railing Recovers In Perth Hospital

A young woman who was stuck for half an hour after being impaled through the neck by a railing is expected to make a full recovery, police have said.

Kirsty Scott, 23, slipped on an icy path outside a flat in Perth at 9am on Monday and landed on the five-inch (12.7cm) long spike - leaving it embedded underneath her chin.

After being cut free by firefighters, she was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee where she underwent emergency surgery to remove the spike.

Ms Scott was with her partner when she slipped and was conscious throughout the rescue. She is now said to be recovering from the "horrific" ordeal in hospital.

Graeme Johnson, a resident of Oakbank Road, where the incident happened, told The Courier newspaper: "I went out and the woman was on her knees on the step - I initially thought she was just leaning over to speak to someone down below but realised how serious it was.

"Her boyfriend was there, and another woman, and they appeared to be helping so I just went in and called the ambulance. I didn't think there was much else I could do as I'm not great with blood."

Another resident of the street said the spike had gone through the bottom of Ms Scott's chin, but he could not see if it had come up into her mouth. He said: "It was horrific - she was screaming and couldn't move herself. If it had been slightly to the side either way, I think she could have been killed."

Neil Scott, Perth Fire and Rescue station manager, agreed that Ms Scott had been "very lucky", adding: "She was very fortunate that the spike embedded without hitting any of her bones. She stayed calm throughout, but afterwards she became quite distraught. I think she was just in shock. It must have been a very traumatic experience for her."

It took firefighters around 30 minutes to free Ms Scott and they had to use a hacksaw because there was only a tiny space to cut through.

A Tayside Police spokesman said Ms Scott's family, who have asked for privacy, were "very grateful" to the emergency services.