Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tragedy in Paradise

Yesterday a huge explosion tore through the Hotel Cordial at Puerto Mogan in Gran Canaria where we stayed last June. Reports say that at least one tourist has died whilst many others are seriously hurt, together with members of staff.  My brother Andy and his wife Gill, who were married at the resort whilst we were there with them, had returned to the hotel for Gill's birthday and were shaken by the blast.  They were staying very near the block of rooms which included the sauna that was blown up in the gas fireball that engulfed it.  They saw some of the victims with nearly 100% burns and witnessed the rescue and recovery efforts that continue as I write. They are due to make their way home to Manchester tonight and we are praying for them and for all affected by the tragedy.  Andy has said that some of the victims include children and that current estimates of the number of deaths and serious injuries are likely to be exceeded.

Hotel Cordial is the most wonderful, refreshing place to stay under normal circumstances. Puerto Mogan is a lovely fishing village with marinas and is called Little Venice because of its canals and bridges. We loved our time there in the summer.  The staff are kind and thoughtful and it must grieve them so that this has taken place.  It is a reminder that even a holiday paradise is only an illusion and that the reality of human need and frailty follows us everywhere.  Let's pray for all those affected by the shock of this event, and especially for those whose loved ones lie terribly burned or have already died.