Search for missing guests begin at Penhallow Hotel in Newquay

21 August 2007
Search for missing guests begin at Penhallow Hotel in Newquay

Police investigation teams are starting a detailed search of 6ft deep rubble in an attempt to trace two people still missing after a fire destroyed a seaside hotel in Cornwall over the weekend.

One man has died and five others were injured after a fire broke out in The Penhallow Hotel in Newquay on Saturday. It is believed the man died after falling from the second-floor as the blaze forced residents to jump out of windows.

Two people are still unaccounted for while four are in hospital following the fire, the cause of which is still unknown.

Police said they will concentrate their search on an area where they believe a body may be before starting an expected week-long operation looking for evidence in the rest of the debris.

Devon and Cornwall emergency services said that the fire broke out just after midnight Saturday. The hotel was close to capacity when the fire started with more than 80 guests, three members of staff and a coach driver present.

Hotel manager Andy Woollam told the BBC: "It was just in a state of panic. The staff were absolutely brilliant getting everyone out as best they could."

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By Owen Hill

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