Fury over bomb cash

A NEWLY-wed couple seriously injured in a terrorist attack during their Maldives honeymoon have criticised the British Government for refusing to help with their £100,000-plus evacuation costs.

Tuesday, 9th October 2007, 12:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th October 2007, 11:06 am

Christian Donelan, originally from Rotherham, and his wife Jennifer were holidaying on the idyllic island of Baros when the device exploded 11 days ago.

Jennifer suffered 40 per cent burns to her body, while Christian sustained 27 per cent burns. The 32-year-olds have now been flown back to England after being treated initially in the Maldives.

Today the furious couple slammed the Government for "consistently refusing" to contribute any money towards air-evacuation costs or medical treatment.

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They have now called on politicians to raise the matter in the House of Commons.

Rotherham MP Denis MacShane said he "shared their concern" and would be asking other local MPs for support to bring the issue to Parliament.

The couple had to rely on contributions from the Maldives Government, the hospital for waiving medical costs, and Christian's employers.

Christian's cousin David Sadler told The Star: "What was extremely evident during the immediate aftermath of the incident was the British Government was simply not prepared to assist in arranging or paying for air evacuation.

"They were also not prepared to pay for their medical treatment.

"We're not talking about two people who were injured pursuing a dangerous sport. They were on honeymoon in the Maldives.

"When British citizens are seriously injured in a terrorist attack in a benign country, we believe the Government has a duty to support their evacuation to the UK.

"We will be approaching our Member of Parliament for this complete disregard for the wellbeing of British citizens to be questioned in the House of Commons."

He also warned other travellers to carefully read their insurance policies as many do not cover terrorist attacks.

Mr MacShane, a former Foreign Officer Minister, said: "I share the family's concerns and I think in specific cases of terrorist attacks, different rules should apply for helping people.

"The family is right to raise this matter. I shall consult with the other two Rotherham area MPs and will be happy to raise the matter in the House of Commons."

A Foreign Office spokesman said today: "Others contributed towards the costs making it unnecessary for us to do so. In other terrorism situations we look first towards the travel insurance covering it and, if that is not possible, we would meet evacuation costs in certain situations."

Christian and Jennifer now live in Qatar in the Middle East, but are currently in Wythenshawe Hospital near Manchester for specialist treatment.