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Friday February 2, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

A British family has instructed lawyers after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning during a Christmas trip to the French Alps.

Nine members of the Elliott family, including three very young children, were given oxygen and taken to hospital from the chalet in La Plagne.

They were on holiday with Skiworld, staying in Chalet Hellebore in Plagne Soleil.

Skiworld says it understands the cause was a "very considerable amount of snow" blocking an air intake flow and says it's very sorry for the family's suffering.

Chalet Hellebore, Plagne SoleilChalet Hellebore, Plagne Soleil
















Bryan and Lorna Elliott, from Chippenham in Wiltshire,  left for the one-week trip on 23rd December with their two sons, Paul and Alexander, daughters-in-law Kerri and Poppy and three grandchildren, Harry (3), Charlie (2) and Lachlan (21 months).

The incident happened at the end of the holiday after their last day on the slopes.

Lorna and Bryan ElliottLorna and Bryan Elliott














In the early hours of the morning three-year-old Harry became violently sick and his mother collapsed while attending to him.

His father managed to raise to the alarm, despite almost passing out himself.

All nine were treated at the scene with oxygen and taken to hospital.

Elliott family being treatedEmergency services treat the family at the scene

















Lorna ElliottLorna Elliott in hospital in France


















The Elliotts say they're still suffering symptoms including sickness and memory loss.

"To see people dropping like flies was truly terrifying," Bryan Elliot said.

"I'm just so grateful that Paul managed to raise the alarm because I dread to think what the consequences may have been.

"The doctors have said it's too early to say if anyone will have any long-term effects. At the minute I'm thankful that everyone got out of the chalet alive."

Bryan and Lorna ElliottBryan and Lorna Elliott

The Elliotts have instructed the law firm Irwin Mitchell to look into a possible claim.

Jennifer Lund, a Partner and personal injury specialist, is representing them.

"Bryan, Lorna and the rest of the family were exposed to carbon monoxide in their holiday accommodation which could have had fatal consequences, as it has in previous tragedies elsewhere," she said in a statement provided to PlanetSKI.

"Our clients required emergency treatment in hospital and we are investigating the long term effects of their exposure.

"Holiday companies have a responsibility to ensure that customers are kept safe from potential risks to their health and safety.

"The family are quite rightly upset that a special family skiing trip ended up with six adults and three children receiving treatment in hospital.

"It is widely known that exposure to carbon monoxide can have terrible and sometimes tragic consequences.

"Our investigations are at an early stage, however, it is vital that steps are taken to avoid a repeat of this incident."

La PlagneLa Plagne












A spokesman for Skiworld told PlanetSKI that the company had been providing chalet holidays for more than 30 years and this was the first incident of its kind.

"We put the health and safety of our guests at the very centre of our operations.

"Our thoughts are naturally with the Elliott family for the distress and upset experienced, and we are very sorry that they have suffered as a result of this incident.

"At the time our staff were immediately on site and did all they could to assist.

"Snow conditions in the Alps have been unprecedented and described as a ‘once in a thirty-year event' and it was a build-up of a very considerable amount of snow that blocked an air intake flue that we understand caused the incident.

"All our chalets are fitted with smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

"As this case is subject to legal action we are not in a position to comment further".

Chalet Hellebore, Plagne SoleilSkiworld's Chalet Hellebore














Chalet Hellebore was newly-built for the 2016-17 season and is described on the Skiworld website as a superior chalet.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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