Barmaid hurt in hotel blast will sue

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A BARMAID who was left buried under the rubble when the Drumtochty Arms in Auchenblae exploded is seeking compensation.

Danielle Ormond was 26 when she was injured in the gas blast in January 2009. She suffered a number of broken bones and a collapsed lung after she was buried under the rubble at the hotel which was just completing a £750,000 refurbishment at the time.

Danielle, who is now 28, is taking legal action against bosses at the hotel and the gas contractors, Instant Catering Maintenance (ICE), who were working at the hotel at the time of the blast.

The explosion is still under investigation by the Crown Office, however after waiting over two and a half years, Danielle has instructed Aberdeen firm Thompson Solicitors to sue on her behalf.

Danielle said: “Looking back on the whole thing I still feel lucky to be alive but I hope I get closure soon. This has been hanging over me for such a long time, I’m happy that it’s now moving forward.” In the blast Danielle suffered three broken ribs, a broken breastbone, a broken vertebra, a broken thumb and a collapsed lung. She explains that the injuries still bother her now.

She said: “The pain in my back is going to be a factor that will effect me for the rest of my life. I still need prescription painkillers to go about my day-to-day life and get some sleep.”

Thompsons partner, Chris Gordon, said the firm would help Danielle sue for compensation however a sum has not been decided.

The Drumtochty Arms Hotel was just days away from completing a year-long refurbishment when the blast happened. At the time of the blast hotel owner, Charles Anderson was said to be “completely devastated.”

Danielle was one of three people hurt in the blast the others were local man James Guthrie and Kitchen Fitter Neil Coffield.

Planning permission was granted in December 2009 to rebuild the hotel, much of which had to be demolished following the blast, however due to the ongoing investigation, building has not yet started and will not be able to begin until the legal process is completed.