Family of 11 are rushed to hospital when several of them collapse in hotel carbon monoxide leak
A family of 11 were rushed to hospital after several of them collapsed due to a carbon monoxide leak at a hotel in Lancashire.
Emergency services were called to The Royal Bar and Hotel in Morecambe at around 9.45am on Boxing Day and immediately erected a cordon around the site after reports that guests, including children, had collapsed.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing, but witnesses recalled having to drag ‘limp’ relatives away from their rooms.
Kerri Smith, 45, said some of her family were staying at the hotel after travelling down from Manchester to spend Christmas with her mother and father.
She added: ‘My nephew rang my son to say that his little boy had collapsed. My son went down there and when he got there, more members of the family had collapsed.’
Kerri said her son Callum, 28, had to drag children away to a nearby café before an ambulance was called to take them to hospital.
She continued: ‘There were three members of staff in the bar area and I told them: “You need to phone the fire brigade because it’s carbon monoxide poisoning.”‘
Emergency services pictured outside The Royal Bar & Hotel on Marine Road Central in Morecambe, Lancashire, on Boxing Day
‘They said they didn’t know it was that. But I told them people don’t just collapse for no reason. We got the rest of my family out.’
‘There was 11 of them all taken to hospital in ambulances. There were six adults and five children and the last one got released late last night.
‘They are all okay and are all home. They were all oxygenated and their levels came down so there was no lasting damage.
‘Eleven of my family might not have woken up that morning and we had planned a big family breakfast in the café my mum owns in Morecambe; that didn’t happen.
‘It was just a waiting game. We were all waiting around worried to death.’
She added that the chief fire officer in attendance praised her for noticing the signs of carbon monoxide so quickly and told her she had helped to save lives.
Kerri was able to recognise the symptoms having previously worked in care, where she ‘saw it happen before’.
She added: ‘I actually thought when we got my nephew in the car that he was going to die.
‘He was so confused, he didn’t know what was happening, he was worried about his children. It was awful.’
Callum, who rescued multiple relatives, described receiving a phone call from his cousin describing how the family had all had a ‘funny turn’.
He said: ‘I saw my cousin walking with his son along the way, he was walking towards the café and said that he’d just collapsed in the road.
‘He said his son had also done the same that morning in the room but he thought he was just sleepy and fell off the toilet.
‘I’d gone down to the cafe and within about five minutes I got a phone call from my cousin asking if I could go and pick the kids up because they had all had “funny turns”.’
Upon receiving the phone call, Callum immediately told his family to get out the room and rushed to the hotel himself, where he had to drag his cousin and a child out.
The hotel was cordoned off by police for public safety following reports of the carbon monoxide leak
He added: ‘One of them was limp, lying on the floor, he couldn’t hold his head up or anything. The dad, who was OK five minutes earlier when he was in the street, couldn’t walk.
‘He was trying to walk with a baby down the stairs, I had to essentially drag him by the scruff of his neck.’
Callum took the children in the car to a local cafe to be checked over.
And describing how fortunate his family are to have escaped unharmed, he said: ‘If I didn’t see my cousin in the street I don’t think we would have put the two together and if he’d not rang we’d have been none the wiser.
‘It’s quite scary to think they might not have rang for help and we’d have been none the wiser.
‘It was really frightening to see the children in that state and us parents were panicking.
‘Thankfully we have not been affected in any big way. However, if they had been in the room another 10 or 15 minutes then it could’ve been a much worse situation.
‘It’s tragic for the business as well given the state of the economy and what’s going on at the moment.’
A spokesperson for Lancashire Fire and Rescue confirmed two crews were called to ‘the presence of carbon monoxide’ and ventilated the rooms.
The fire service is now working with Lancaster City Council and the Health and Safety Executive to investigate the incident.
A statement from the council added: ‘The city council supported the emergency response to a suspected carbon monoxide leak at the Royal Hotel in Morecambe.
‘The investigation is in its very early stages and we will be working closely with our partner agencies to determine the exact circumstances of the incident.’
Anyone with information is asked to contact Lancashire Constabulary on 101 quoting log reference 0353 of December 26.