Runner caught in wildfire sues race organisers

Runner caught in wildfire sues race organisers

22 February 2013

published by

Australia — An ultramarathon runner caught in a wildfire in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region is now suing the race organisers for millions of dollars.

Turia Pitt, 25, was left with burns to 64 percent of her body after she and three other competitors became trapped by a huge bushfire just hours into the 100km Racing The Planet event in September 2011.

Ms Pitt, a former mining engineer and part-time model from the NSW south coast, lost all the fingers on her right hand and two fingers on her left hand, and spent five months in hospital.

She needs continuous medical attention.

The Daily Telegraph reports that her lawsuit, filed yesterday in the NSW Supreme Court, comes after race organisers refused to pay her hefty medical bills, according to claims by her lawyer outside court.

It follows a parliamentary inquiry that found race organisers ignored reports of flames and smoke.

In her statement of claim, Ms Pitt alleges that the organisers did not inform WA’s fire or emergency services of the event or seek their advice as to its safety, the newspaper reports.

Racing The Planet also had not arranged for an emergency helicopter and it was several hours before Ms Pitt and three other seriously burned competitors were rescued.

Last year Ms Pitt told the WA’s government inquiry in horrific detail how she tried to outrun a massive firefront that swept through a narrow, rocky gorge just outside Kununurra.

Racing The Plant is Hong Kong-based company founded by former Sydney investment banker Mary Gadams, the Telegraph reports.


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