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Last Updated: Monday, 4 September 2006, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Service to honour Summerland dead
Summerland picture courtesy of Manxscenes.com
More than 50 people were killed in the fire
A service marking the Summerland disaster is to take place later this month as demolition work takes place at the former leisure complex.

A total of 2m has been allocated to demolish the complex in Douglas where more than 50 holidaymakers died when a fire swept through it in August 1973.

The act of remembrance will take place on 28 September.

Tynwald voted to demolish it in July 2005, as it was a dangerous eyesore. Its future has yet to be decided.

Former villa

The remembrance service will be led by the island's Bishop the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles.

Summerland is on the site of a former villa which was converted into a theatre and ballroom in 1877.

Douglas Corporation bought it in 1964, developing the site as the Summerland Complex which opened in 1971.

The fire, sparked by three boys illicitly smoking, killed between 50 and 53 people and gutted the complex within minutes.

'Flame tornado'

One eyewitness at the time told of a "tremendous tornado of flame."

When the fire broke out, the seven-storey building was crammed with hundreds of people, many of them children.

The total number of victims has never been confirmed.

The Summerland disaster led to a major change in fire regulations on the Isle of Man and in the UK.


SEE ALSO
Summerland development questioned
01 Jun 06 |  Isle of Man
Summerland site demolition begins
03 Oct 05 |  Isle of Man
Summerland demolition announced
09 Sep 05 |  Isle of Man

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