British holidaymaker dies after falling from hotel balcony in Bulgaria

The beach at Burgas/Alamy

A British holidaymaker has died after falling from a hotel balcony in Bulgaria.

The incident is one of a string of accidents in which British tourists have been killed after falling from hotel balconies.

Jacqueline McClafferty, 41, from Belfast, plunged to her death from the fourth floor of the balcony at the holiday apartment at Sunny Beach Resort, on the Black Sea, near Burgas.

According to reports in the Belfast Telegraph, Ms McClafferty had been on holiday with her boyfriend at the Poseidon Hotel when the accident happened.

An emergency medical team rushed to the scene but she is believed to have died from head injuries upon impact.

Investigators reported that Ms McClafferty had been on the balcony at around 10.45pm on Saturday before she died, and an investigation is taking place.

Jacqueline McClafferty is not the first to die after a balcony fall at Sunny Beach resort, which is Bulgaria's largest beach holiday destination. In July 2011, a 17-year-old British boy was killed after falling from his third-floor apartment balcony.

Tom McNeill, from Carlisle, who also suffered a fatal head injury, prompted calls from his parents to install balcony rails at the resort to make them safer.

An inquest which into his death, which took place last week, heard that his apartment's waist-high balcony, 40ft from the ground, had no safety railing, reports local news site News and Star.

The coroner, who ruled that Mr McNeill's death was accidental, urged the hotel company to review safety to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Balkan Holidays, which provided Mr McNeill with his apartment, told News and Star last week: "We have spoken to our accommodation provider to ensure that the facilities are checked and that a safe environment is ensured for our holidaymakers at all times."

It is not known whether Ms McClafferty's balcony had a safety railing, but her tragic death will surely bring more questions about the safety of hotel balconies around Europe.

Just five days ago, a British teenager died in Greece after plunging from his hotel balcony in Corfu.

And in May, a woman was lucky to survive after falling from her balcony at her hotel in Magaluf, Spain.

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