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Solicitor Chris Gordon of Thompsons Solicitors announced today that barmaid Dannielle Ormond has launched a compensation action after being trapped in the rubble of the Drumtochty Arms Hotel following an explosion.

Pub customers and locals in the village of Auchenblae near Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire tore at the rubble with their bare hands to free Miss Ormond who was in the cellar when the building collapsed around her following a suspected gas blast.

Mr Gordon, Thompsons Solicitors’ Managing Partner in Aberdeen, said: “It is now two months since Miss Ormond’s ordeal and she no longer has any income. 

“We have intimated a claim for compensation against the hotel owner and the gas contractor who was working on the premises at the time.

“Health and Safety officials are investigating the cause of the explosion, and when we see their report it may be clear who is ultimately responsible.

“But someone is clearly liable for the terrible injuries Miss Ormond suffered and the fact that because of her back injury in particular she may never be able to work as a barmaid again.”

Mr Gordon said that is too early to say how much Miss Ormond will claim in compensation.

“We don’t yet know if her injuries will respond to treatment or what level of work if any she will be fit to undertake.

“The compensation could potentially run into six figures.

Miss Ormond said: “It is an absolute nightmare and I am so angry and frustrated.

“Apart from all the pain and discomfort I feel I am losing a whole chunk of life because I can’t do a single thing. My niece is having a birthday party, but I can’t go because I am just not fit, and my thumb is so badly damaged I can’t even write her a card.

“I can’t sleep at night because the injuries to my back mean I can’t lie down, and apart from the fact that leaves me drained, it’s not fair on my partner.

“I keep getting flashbacks and seeing myself lying under the rubble choking from the dust and in terrible pain.

“The villagers who rescued me were fantastic. Despite the risks they were already combing through the rubble when I came round and started calling for help.

“I remember it was agony when they dragged me out and all I was worried about was what had happened to my shoe because they were making me walk over the rubble.”

Miss Ormond spent eight days in hospital. Her injuries included:  Collapsed lung, fractured vertebra on her neck and back with associated nerve damage, multiple broken ribs, multiple cuts requiring stitching, damage to her jaw and teeth and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

She said: “I don’t like to go on about my injuries because I am afraid people think if I start I will never stop.

“My ribs have healed, but the ones round my chest are so badly out of line you can see them through my clothes, while the ones near my collar bone have fused together and you can see them too.

“My back is probably the worst. I can’t stand for any length of time or sit without my back being supported. So how on earth am I going to work as a barmaid, and even if I can who’ll employ me with a bad back.

“I need dental treatment but I can’t sit in the chair long enough for the dentist to operate and I am seeing psychologists for post traumatic stress disorder.

“I am totally gutted. I loved my job. I could walk to the hotel, and the locals and regulars were a really nice crowd.

“Now my partner Kris Paul and I will probably have to give up our house because we can’t afford the rent on one wage.”

This story was covered by :

Hotel Blast Barmaid Seeks Damages - BBC News

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