Bristol

Costa del Sol hotel blast 'could have killed' UK family

A British family injured in a hotel explosion on Spain's Costa del Sol have said they could have been killed.

Carol Gardener has been left in a coma with a fractured skull and her sister, Julie Loud, suffered severe lacerations to her legs.

Mrs Loud's husband Andrew said the family, from Weston-super-Mare, had been walking past Hotel Globales Cortijo Blanco when it exploded.

He said: "The devastation was just like a bomb had gone off."

The family were on holiday at the hotel when the side of the building blew off.

The cause of the explosion is currently being investigated.

Mr Loud said: "Carol and Julie took the impact from the explosion. Me and my brother-in-law were five yards in front and escaped pretty much unscathed.

"We could have all been killed."

Brain surgery

He said: "My sister-in-law was lying in the road with rubble all around her.

"She's got a fractured skull, severe lacerations all over her body and 30% burns down one side from the explosion.

"We were only probably 15ft away from it.

Image caption Carol Gardener is in a coma after undergoing brain surgery

"It was 30 seconds of mayhem. Then the dust settled, then there was just rubble, bodies all over the place.

"Everybody ran towards us and tried to help."

He said Mrs Gardener, 53, was airlifted to a specialist trauma unit in Malaga.

"At the moment my sister-in-law is in a coma. She had brain surgery through the night and we are waiting to hear from the hospital," he said.

"My wife has got severe lacerations to her legs and her arms, she's badly bruised and obviously she's all shook up.

"She's got about 20-odd stitches in her legs, but she's back at the hotel. She's in a wheelchair at the moment.

"Amazingly they've allowed people to come back in within 10 minutes of the explosion."

'Very scary'

The explosion happened at about 1000 local time (0900 BST) on Monday.

Image caption Dani Loud said her parents were due to come home on Friday

Mr and Mrs Loud's daughter Dani said: "My brother rang me yesterday and said they had been in an accident.

"I didn't really catch what it was because I was in so much shock. He basically said they had been in a water explosion, they were all right but my aunt Carol had been airlifted to hospital.

"I was just hoping that they were all OK. The first thing I wanted to do was go out there and be with them but I couldn't.

"There were loads of things going through my head, I thought it was a bomb, I didn't really know what had happened. It was very scary."

She said her parents were due to come home on Friday.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We can confirm four British nationals were caught up in the explosion at the Hotel Globales in Spain on 23 August.

"All have received hospital treatment and we are providing consular assistance to them."

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