A toddler suffered horrific burns after scorching his foot on a piece of sun-baked metal while on holiday – but the holiday company in charge of the facilities has REFUSED to apologise to the family.
Little Charlie Russell was left with severe burns after stepping on a metal tee-off strip that had been left out on a kids’ crazy golf course.
It took only seconds for the metal to sear through the sole of the three-year-old’s foot and ruin the Russell family’s £3,500 holiday in Ibiza.
Within 12 hours of the accident, hotel bosses had removed the offending strip and put up a warning sign for other parents; however, holiday company Thomson has not issued an apology to Charlie’s parents over the incident.
Charlie’s dad, James Russell, blasted the company for their lack of compassion over the incident in June last year.
He said: “It’s an absolute disgrace how we have been treated. There is no way that metal strip should have been there in the first place when you are aiming the area at young children.
“It was a disaster waiting to happen. It was like having a griddle. My son was horrifically burnt by it and then went through agony in hospital. He is lucky he is not permanently disfigured.”
Mr Russell, an IT Manager from Maltby, South Yorks., added: “The worst part of it is that Thomson couldn’t care less.
“They just want it swept under the carpet. My boy was in agony. It’s outrageous.”
Within hours of arriving on the island, Charlie, who was two at the time, had stepped on the boiling plate and the holiday was effectively over for dad James, mum Terrie and brothers, Logan, 9 and Ethan, 6. The Russell family were staying at the Fiesta Hotel Cala Nova in Ibiza.
Mr Russell, 32, explained how Charlie had been caught out by the hot metal.
He said: “There were three crazy golf holes in the kids area in between the pool and the play area and all the children used it as a cut through. My son ran through and when he stepped on it he screamed out.
“The temperature had been over 30 degrees and it was like a hot plate. He had put the ball of his foot on it and it instantly melted his skin as he pulled his foot away. There was a big white flap of skin hanging off.
“He was inconsolable with the pain but there was nothing I could do.”
Charlie was in agony after the accident and his mum, Terrie Russell, who works in healthcare, tended to the wound before he was rushed to a medical centre in the next village.
When he arrived, the skin was removed and he had special cooling cream applied and was given strong paracetamol.
Mr Russell complained to the hotel about what had happened and later that night the offending metal and two others were removed and a sign put up warning parents to supervise their children.
However, that was the end of the holiday for the Russell family.
Mr Russell said: “When Charlie was injured that was it – we couldn’t take him on the beach or by the pool or enjoy it as a family and that was the whole point of the holiday.
“We had to make regular trips to the medical centre to get new dressings and one of us would be doing that while the other stayed with our other boys. It was a nightmare, like having two separate holidays in the same resort.”
Charlie’s pain didn’t stop when they returned home and he had to attend Rotherham Hospital where he was prescribed further medicine.
Mr Russell contacted Thomson but he said they refused to take him seriously or apologise for his son’s injuries – now he is suing them for his son’s ordeal and his family’s ruined holiday.
Travel lawyer Simon Lomax of Simpson Millar solicitors, said: “We deal with dozens of these type of claims. Travel companies need to do more to protect children while in their resorts.
“This attraction should have been vetted in advance as the resort is a magnet for children and anyone of them could have been injured like my client.”
Speaking about Thomson, Mr Russell added: “I couldn’t believe them. When I complained again they were happy to thank for me letting them know about the metal strips but couldn’t care less about my boy and how he suffered and the affect on our holiday.”
A spokesperson for Thomson has issued a statement about the Russell family’s incident.
The statement read: “First Choice is sorry to hear about the injury sustained by Charlie Russell whilst on holiday in Ibiza in 2014.
“Our legal team has been in direct contact with the Russell family’s solicitors and as it is subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.
“We would like to reassure customers that health and safety is of paramount importance to First Choice and we operate the strictest quality standards across all of our hotels.”