UK

Tunisia attack: Man died after delay in going to hospital

James and Ann McQuire Image copyright PA
Image caption James and Ann McQuire were shot by a hotel pool as they fled a gunman in Tunisia

A Scottish man injured in a terror attack on a Tunisian resort died on his way to hospital after a 20-minute wait in an ambulance, an inquest has heard.

James McQuire, 66, and his wife Ann, 63, were shot near a hotel swimming pool as they tried to flee an Islamist gunman in June 2015.

The inquest at the High Court in London heard Mrs McQuire died at the scene.

But her husband of 43 years died in the back of an ambulance after the delay in taking him to hospital.

Seifeddine Rezgui killed 38 people - 30 of them Britons - at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba, near Sousse in central Tunisia. He was later killed by security forces.

The couple, from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, were on their first holiday after retiring when they were shot at the beach resort.

Nurse Carol Harrison, who was also on holiday, tended to Mr McQuire as he lay injured.

She told the inquest that she had seen no medically trained people at the scene other than a doctor and the ambulance crew.

Mrs Harrison said she had come across "Jim from Cumbernauld" lying next to his wife as she and her husband, a trained first aider, went to help the injured.

She decided not to move him because she worried his wound, which had stopped bleeding, would restart if she did. But hotel staff lifted him on to a sun lounger before taking him to an ambulance.

Mrs Harrison, a nurse of 37 years, told the inquest it had no medical equipment other than oxygen and looked more like a "patient transport" vehicle.

Despite urging the driver to take Mr McQuire to hospital quickly, it was 15 to 20 minutes before it left the hotel.

She said: "I asked several times, 'can we go? This man is having trouble breathing, he needs to go to hospital'."

Image caption Thirty of the 38 people killed by a gunman on a Tunisian beach were British

Mr McQuire died in the back of the ambulance on the way to hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Asked by coroner Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith whether she had seen any medical staff other than a doctor and the ambulance team, Mrs Harrison said: "No."

The couple's son, Stuart McQuire, said they had been robbed of a happy retirement after decades of hard work.

Both Glasgow-born, Mr McQuire had been a shipyard engineer, and his wife a medical receptionist.

A granddaughter born since their deaths was named Lily Ann in memory of Mrs McQuire, but her son said it was "heartbreaking" his parents would miss out on watching her grow up.

The inquest continues.