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Summerland Anniversary - 44 Years on

Wed, 02 Aug 2017

Summerland Disaster - August 1973
Summerland Disaster - August 1973

It's 44 years today since the Summerland disaster in which 50 people died.

The leisure complex caught fire while 3,000 holidaymakers and locals were inside.

Poor structural design and the largely plastic interiors were cited for causing the fire's rapid spread.

One man who remembers the day vividly is local journalist Terry Cringle.

Speaking at the Summerland site he recounted one memory that he says will stay with him for the rest of his life:

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The incident is still a difficult subject for many on the island.

49-year-old Ruth McQuillan-Wilson was just five-years-old at the time of the incident.

She and her mother, father and sister had to run through flames to survive it, causing disfiguring burns to the back of her legs and hands

Ruth says the after-effects of what happened are still a struggle today.

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A short service of remembrance is being held opposite the former Summerland site on Douglas Promenade tonight at 7.30pm.

Media

  • Terry Cringle

  • Ruth McQuillian-Wilson

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