FIRE chiefs “should have saved” a mother of two who fell into a disused mineshaft, her family said, after a fatal accident inquiry found her death could have been avoided.
Lawyer Alison Hume suffered “survivable” injuries after plunging 14 metres down the collapsed shaft in Galston, Ayrshire, in July 2008.
Her rescue was delayed by senior fire officers who showed “rigid compliance” with official health and safety procedures, the inquiry concluded.
The 44-year-old spent up to eight hours in the pit, developed hypothermia, had a heart attack and died in hospital
Firefighters had wanted to go down to rescue her, and 18 of them had been trained to do so. But their senior officers refused to give them permission, believing the situation was not safe.
The sheriff criticised Group Commander Paul Stewart, the senior fire officer at the scene, for saying the rescue had been “a success”.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said Mrs Hume’s death was “a source of enormous regret” but stopped short of issuing an apology to the family