Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Hotel fire leads to at least half of staff losing their jobs

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Media captionMount Murray Hotel and Country Club caught on fire on 7 November

The owner of one of the largest hotels in the Isle of Man said "at least 50% of staff" were to lose their jobs after a major fire earlier this month.

Albert Gubay has confirmed discussions were "ongoing" about which of the 90 employees at the Mount Murray Country Club will be made redundant.

The entire accommodation block of the Santon hotel was wiped out in a major fire on 7 November.

My Gubay said: "I am sorry at this time of year for this to have happened."

He added: "We have a total of around 90 staff here and we are going to have to make at least half of them redundant - probably more, but of course they will be paid out whatever their entitlements are.

'Totally speechless'

"I never thought anything like this would ever happen. I was totally speechless when I saw the state of the place."

About 50 people were evacuated from the hotel when an accommodation block caught fire at about 10:30 GMT.

One eyewitness described the blaze as an "inferno", which engulfed the hotel roof "within minutes".

"There is nothing you can do with a fire of that size," continued Mr Gubay.

"It will be two years before we can fully open again and the repairs are likely cost about £15m."

Hotel management said although the accommodation block remained closed, other areas including the conference rooms, restaurants and gym, would open again later this week.

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