‘Questions to be asked’ after 10-year-old boy’s Blackpool hotel electrocution

  • ITV Granada Reports correspondent Mel Barham sent this report from Blackpool

A senior coroner said there are “questions to be asked” after a 10-year-old boy was electrocuted in the lobby of a Blackpool hotel while on holiday with his family.

Jack Piper-Sheach, of Clarendon Road, Grimsby, suffered a heart attack after being shocked and his brain was starved of oxygen, according to preliminary details heard at the opening of an inquest.

The youngster was found unresponsive at Tiffany’s Hotel on the Promenade at about 10.39pm on Sunday 3 September.

He died at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool four days later with his loved ones by his side.

Blackpool Council has told the hotel to remain closed. Credit: ITV Granada

Alan Wilson, Senior Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde, said: “There’s clearly questions to be asked about how this incident happened.”

Mr Wilson said Jack’s family decided not to attend Friday afternoon’s hearing because it would be brief – but would be informed of any developments and the details heard.

He said: “Jack was on holiday with his family in Blackpool, staying at the Tiffany’s Hotel on the North Promenade.

“It was reported that during the evening of 3 September, Jack had been in the lobby area and at some point he’s become unresponsive and was believed to have been electrocuted.”

Paramedics gave first aid and Jack was taken to hospital in Blackpool before being transferred to the specialist children’s hospital in Liverpool, where his death was recorded on 7 September, Mr Wilson said.

Jack Piper-Sheach died at Alder Hey Children's Hospital four days later. Credit: PA Images

An initial assessment of the cause of Jack’s death was made by a paediatric consultant at Alder Hey, the coroner added.

He said: “Essentially, she reports that this young boy suffered an electrocution injury that caused cardiac arrest and then a lack of oxygen to the brain.”

Mr Wilson said an interim report has been completed by Lancashire Police, with a full report expected by mid-November.

Police have taken witness statements from the hotel’s general manager and director, he added.

The coroner also said he will request a witness statement from relevant senior members of staff at Blackpool Council regarding any “interactions” between the authority and directors of the hotel relating to any health and safety issues.

Tiffany’s Hotel, a short distance north of the Tower on the seafront, has been closed since the electrocution.

After Jack’s death, a hotel spokesman said it would co-operate with any investigation and passed on condolences to the boy’s family.

A further pre-inquest hearing is scheduled for 15 December and the full inquest is set for 6 or 7 February 2024.