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Family’s fear for burgh holidaymakers

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By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben

SHOCKWAVES rippled through Lochmaben over the weekend at the news a lifelong burgh resident was caught up in the Tunisian terrorism attack.

Dougie Lamb, 78, and his wife Margaret, are currently in the thick of the drama as their hotel sits on the beach in Sousse where a gunman massacred 38 people, including as many as 30 Britons.
Her daughter Carol Mulhall, who lived and was educated in Lochmaben and Lockerbie, told of the hell she went through trying to establish whether her family had been caught up.
The mum-of-four from Doncaster had misgivings about the pair’s last minute holiday due to government travel advice for the area and links to Islamic State. She said: “I didn’t want to spoil their excitement for their annual holiday, after all terror attacks are what we see on the news happening to other people.”
She first found out about the bloodbath when she received a text from her partner telling her to turn on the news.
Becoming frantic as she repeatedly tried and failed to contact her mum, Carol said: “I glued my eyes to BBC news as the story unfolded and updates came in.”
She called the Foreign Office, the British Consulate, the tour operator and hotels, but all were unable to confirm if her mum and Dougie were dead or alive.
Carol said: “I looked through every single news report online, looking to find mum and Dougie in the crowd in the photos.
“I scrutinised the background of the beach and the sun loungers looking for something I’d recognise.
“I looked at every picture posted of the victims with gunshot wounds and laid in pools of blood. I threw up.
“I found looking at these photos incredibly difficult.”
One victim’s image sparked dread, she said: “It so much looked like Dougie, with Dougie’s brown hat laying next to his head and next to him was another body covered over with a towel.
“That was the first time I cried. That was the first time the reality of it all set in.”
Scared for her mum, Carol said: “I wondered what must have gone through those poor people’s minds. The thought that my mum had experienced that and that’s how she had spent her last moments of life in unimaginable terror, it was more painful to me than I can explain.”
As the weekend progressed, Carol felt despondent: “The hours passed by into Saturday evening and at that point I couldn’t see any possibility of a happy ending.”
But there was to be a happy ending when her mum called that night to say they were safe and well.
Carol said: “I have never felt so elated in my life.”
Dougie and Margaret are due back from Tunisia this weekend.

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