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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Payout for dry ice stunt victim
Helen Terry
Helen Terry needed three months of hospital treatment
A radio station has paid compensation to a woman who suffered permanent scarring to her buttocks by sitting on dry ice to try to win a competition.

Helen Terry's lawyers said she had received a "substantial" figure from Birmingham-based BRMB.

The 28-year-old receptionist was one of three people admitted to hospital after the station's Coolest Seats in Town contest in 2001.

She needed almost three months of treatment for severe frostbite.

BRMB had challenged contestants to sit on blocks of dry ice - carbon dioxide frozen at temperatures of -78C - to win tickets and backstage passes for a music festival in the city.

The surgeon said that if (the injuries) had been on my hands or feet they would have been amputated
Helen Terry
Law firm Irwin Mitchell said another competitor had received a similar undisclosed sum and a third person had yet to agree a settlement with the radio station.

Mrs Terry said: "I was very seriously damaged by the dry ice. I've got permanent scarring on my buttocks and legs.

"The surgeon said that if they had been on my hands or feet, they would have been amputated, that's how serious it was.

"This compensation makes up for lost income and some of the suffering, but nothing will take away the physical and emotional scars."

'Terrible mistake'

Stuart Henderson, a partner at the Birmingham office of Irwin Mitchell, said: "It is quite extraordinary that none of the organisers of this event realised the danger to which they were exposing these young people and as a consequence they have all suffered the most appalling injuries.

"To their credit, BRMB realised they had made a terrible mistake and have been very sympathetic in dealing with their claims.

"They have made awards of interim compensation while the injured competitors have been undergoing treatment and surgery to improve their condition."

BRMB has admitted liability for all the injuries sustained during the contest, and was fined 15,000 last January for breaching health and safety regulations.

The stunt, which took place outside BRMB's offices in Birmingham city centre in August 2001, was described by the health and safety bosses as "quite stupid".

The station, owned by the London-based Capital Radio Group, has previously expressed its regret over the contest.

Radio station faces safety charges
14 Jan 03  |  England

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