- Wallace Hunter was trapped in the bath at Pitlochry Hydro Hotel in Perthshire
- Emergency services tried to save the 75-year-old but could not access the site
The family of a grandfather who died in a scalding accident have described the frantic attempt to rescue him as a ‘horror story’.
Wallace Hunter, 75, from Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire, suffered catastrophic injuries after being trapped in a scalding hot bath at the Pitlochry Hydro Hotel in Perthshire.
Emergency services tried to smash down the door to save him but were hampered by the fact it opened outwards and was bolted from the inside. Mr Hunter suffered third-degree burns to 83 per cent of his body during the incident in December 2019.
His son Keir has launched a civil action ahead of a fatal accident inquiry next month.
He said the tragedy is ‘what we wake up and go to bed thinking about’ and that it was ‘unfathomable’ that no criminal charges had been brought over the incident.
Son Keir (pictured: right) has launched a civil action after his father Wallace Hunter (pictured: right), 75, from Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire, was trapped in a scalding hot bath
He told the BBC: ‘He was spending time with his wife, exploring Scotland. Something like this is entirely preventable and should not have happened.’
The company which owned the hotel has since been liquidated, after going bust in 2020.
Mr Hunter had worked as a precision engineer and studied at Stow College in Glasgow. He and his wife Janice had gone to the £160-a-night hotel for a short break. The accident occurred just before the couple were due to return home. Keir said his father had been conscious and talking at the beginning of the incident.
He said: ‘Had they been able to get to him quickly there’s no question he would still be here. The guests, then the police, were smashing fire extinguishers off the door, it was chaos. And that was on this side of the door.
‘My family ruminate on my dad’s experience on the other side of the door, facing his fate and knowing that people were trying to get to him. The hour-and-a-half became a horror story and the experience my father endured is hard to comprehend.’
He added: ‘The horror continued when the emergency services tried to perform CPR. My mother witnessed the whole thing. As well as losing her husband, the experience has taken a massive toll on her.’
A preliminary hearing at Alloa Sheriff Court for the FAI into Mr Hunter’s death had been scheduled to start yesterday but was adjourned until October 27.
The family have welcomed the FAI, having never received an apology from the hotel operators.
Wallace suffered catastrophic injuries after being trapped in a scalding hot bath at the Pitlochry Hydro Hotel in Perthshire
They want to see a probe into the hotel’s hot water system, the door arrangement, the hotel’s health and safety arrangements, and the response on the day.
The family is also seeking damages through a civil action, claiming negligence on the part of the hotel’s previous operators, Specialist Leisure Group.
Keir said: ‘Ultimately I still really struggle with the idea that no individual or organisation has been held accountable.’
Keir and his legal team said they have uncovered online complaints about the hotel’s hot water system prior to his father’s death.
He said: ‘So here you have a hotel accepting elderly and more vulnerable guests while there are claims about the hot water.’
The family’s lawyer Glen Millar of Thompsons Solicitors said it was impossible to overstate the ‘tragedy and horror’ of Mr Hunter’s death.
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