A Holiday Inn hotel in Hemel Hempstead had the wrong kind of wood on an outside staircase that knocked ten people down at a wedding and seven rushed to the hospital
Image: Lits_sbna_fairleys South News Agency)
Seven wedding guests were hospitalized when a wooden staircase collapsed while posing for photos, a court has heard.
The exterior staircase of a Holiday Inn hotel was built with the wrong type of wood and had not been properly maintained.
A total of 10 guests dived into the hard yard below and seven had to be rushed to hospital.
The court heard that two of the victims suffered long-term injuries.
Last week, magistrates imposed fines totaling £ 160,000 on hotel owners and a management company.
The proceedings were initiated by the Dacorum district council.
Cllr Julie Banks said, “I consider the safety of local residents and visitors to be an imperative.
“We will vigorously investigate and take appropriate enforcement action when serious safety breaches result in serious injury or death.
“All those involved in the management of businesses and operations must understand that they can be sued for their part in such breaches, as both companies have done here.”
Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard that the stairs at Hemel Hempstead’s hotel were constructed from laminated softwood.
Although they were used regularly, especially for wedding photos, they had not been maintained leaving the wood rotten.
The posts that held the stairs were in particularly poor condition.
The dramatic collapse happened in 2017 as a hotel wedding party gathered for photos.
The court heard that the top flight of stairs gave way like a trap door.
HICP Ltd, owner of the hotel since 2015, was ordered to pay a fine, costs and surcharge totaling over £ 110,000.
Interstate United Kingdom Management Limited, which assisted HICP in the management of the hotel, was ordered to pay fines of almost £ 50,000.
The sentencing took place on September 22.
Rebecca Connolly, a health and safety worker at DBC, helped investigate the incident.
She said: “Those who operate premises, whose use they charge to the public, are required by law to put in place adequate arrangements to monitor the condition of such premises and to ensure that repair work or replacement required are identified and carried out.
“Exterior wooden structures are notoriously prone to rotting and regular and rigorous checks must be carried out by persons competent to carry out these checks. “