More British deaths in Spain than elsewhere

Just 48 hours after the Can Picafort hotel collapse, in which none of the British guests was miraculously injured or even killed, Foreign Office figures released yesterday indicate that holidays in Spain, especially during the summer, are some of the most dangerous for Britons travelling abroad. Last year in Spain 13 Britons died falling from hotel balconies and another 25 were killed in car crashes and 20 died either in drownings or at sea. Three others died in air accidents and one in the mountains. Spain topped the league for British deaths despite being in second place for travel destinations. France was top with 14.7 million British visitors. Spain had 12 million, Italy 4.1 million and America 3.6 million. The annual Foreign Office report on the work of UK consular officials, published by Overseas Jobs Express, revealed that worldwide, a total of 35 Britons were murdered abroad. America was top for murder with four, against three in Spain. But with 53.6 million visits abroad last year, one for almost every person in the country, the number of Britons coming to harm remains relatively very low. Out of 2'400 British deaths abroad, most were from natural causes. Spain topped the league with 854 including 752 from natural causes and ten suicides. The USA was next with 97 - including 21 accidents and drownings - then France with 81, including 22 accidents and drownings. “The British are a nation of travellers and every year more of them travel to more places than ever before,” the report said. “So it is not surprising a small number get into trouble. Some get arrested, some fall ill, some get mugged. British nationals have high expectations of their consular staff. They want sympathetic, practical assistance, given without regard to race, colour or creed. It is an expectation we are proud to meet.” Staff spent 740 man years on consular work at a cost of just under £50 million.

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