Grandfather’s son who died after being trapped in hot bath describes ‘horror story’ of 90-minute attempt to save 75-year-old
- Wallace Hunter was stuck in the bath at the Pitlochry Hydro Hotel in Perthshire
- Rescuers tried to save the 75-year-old man but were unable to access the scene.
The family of a grandfather who died in a burning accident described the frantic attempt to save him as a “horror story”.
Wallace Hunter, 75, from Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire, suffered catastrophic injuries after being trapped in a hot tub at the Pitlochry Hydro Hotel in Perthshire.
Emergency services attempted to break down the door to save him, but were hampered by the fact that it opened outwards and was locked from the inside. Mr Hunter suffered third-degree burns to 83 per cent of his body in the December 2019 incident.
His son Keir has filed a civil suit ahead of an inquest into a fatal crash next month.
He said the tragedy was “what we wake up to and go to bed thinking about” and that it was “inconceivable” that no criminal charges had been brought following the incident.
Son Keir (pictured: right) launched a civil action after his father Wallace Hunter (pictured: right), 75, from Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire, was trapped in a hot bath
He told the BBC: “He was spending time with his wife and exploring Scotland. Something like this is entirely preventable and should not have happened.
The company that owns the hotel has since been liquidated, having gone bankrupt in 2020.
Mr Hunter had worked as a precision engineer and studied at Stow College in Glasgow. He and his wife Janice had gone for a short break to a £160 a night hotel. The accident happened just before the couple returned home. Keir said his father was conscious and speaking at the start of the incident.
He said: “If they had been able to find him quickly, there is no doubt he would still be here. The guests, then the police, were breaking the fire extinguishers at the door, it was chaos. And it was on this side of the door.
“My family ruminates on my dad’s experience on the other side of the door, facing his fate and knowing that people were trying to come after him. That hour and a half has become a horror story and the he experience of my father is difficult to understand.
He added: “The horror continued as emergency services attempted to perform CPR. My mother witnessed all of this. In addition to losing her husband, this experience cost her enormously.
A preliminary hearing in Alloa Sheriff’s Court for the FAI into Mr Hunter’s death was due to start yesterday but was adjourned to October 27.
The family welcomed the FAI, never having received an apology from the hoteliers.
Wallace suffered catastrophic injuries after being trapped in a scorching hot tub at the Pitlochry Hydro hotel in Perthshire.
They want to see an investigation of the hotel’s hot water system, door layout, hotel health and safety arrangements, and response that day.
The family is also seeking damages through a civil action, alleging negligence by the hotel’s former operator, Specialist Leisure Group.
Keir said: “At the end of the day, I still have a hard time accepting the idea that no individual or organization has been held accountable.”
Keir and his legal team said they uncovered complaints online about the hotel’s hot water system before his father died.
He said: ‘So you have a hotel here that is accepting older and more vulnerable guests while there are complaints about 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.