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Magic Moments > 1993 > The Waterhole Explosion: Part Two Episode 1950

Written by Barbara Angell, Directed by Michael Sergi

In the Waterhole, Annalise tells Brad she can still smell gas. Brad is annoyed when Annalise admits she didn't get a chance to inform Gaby. Down in the cellar, Brad suspects a leak and leads Beth away, suggesting they leave it to the experts. Gaby is locking up the office and walks with Annalise towards the Waterhole - warning her to make sure Doug and Lou go home. Annalise assures her she's told them to get going, but an almighty bang silences her as a massive fireball rips through the Waterhole and the two ladies are thrown to the ground...

As Annalise and Gaby shake glass and dust off themselves, it suddenly dawns on them what's happened. Gaby tries to get some information from a quivering Annalise regarding who's still in the building. Annalise manages to mutter something about Brad and Beth still being there, but breaks down when Gaby raises her voice. In desperation, Gaby hands over her mobile phone, telling Annalise to phone fire department, as she, in a fit of bravery, runs towards the burning inn screaming for her father - only to be confronted by burning timber and falling rubble. Inside the Waterhole, fallen beams and breeze-blocks trap Beth, who calls out to Brad. After what seems like an eternity, Brad replies. He assures his former fiancé that they must remain calm until help arrives.

. . .

Back at No. 28 Ramsay Street, Pam is not happy that Doug is staying out so late, but she quickly snaps out of her mood when Gaby makes a desperate call from Lassiter's - telling her mother that Brad is trapped inside the burning pub. When Gaby asks Pam is Doug has arrived home yet, and Pam confirms that he hasn't, the awful truth dawns on both women that he must still be trapped inside the building. Pam hurriedly declares she's coming straight over to the complex.

Down in the cellar, Brad and Beth become increasingly concerned that help may not arrive as soon as they had hoped. Beth is becoming mildly hysterical - fearful that there may be another explosion. Brad, wanting to be seen doing something, attempts to free himself from the wreckage, but only succeeds in causing more unsettlement of the rubble and distress to Beth. It suddenly occurs to Beth that Stephen is still upstairs in the main bar - and both start shouting their hearts out.

. . .

Back in Ramsay Street, Pam has changed out of her night clothes and telephoned Lauren to come round immediately. When she does, Pam breaks the news, to the background of fire sirens, that Lou may well be trapped in the bar. Lauren is visibly shaken and both women rush off immediately to the hotel.

At Lassiter's, Philip has turned up and is trying his best to balance concern for his neighbours with his job as hotel manager. The fire chief confirms the plant room and laundry area are totally destroyed but that they are still searching the bar and cellar areas for casualties. While Annalise has composed herself, Gaby is now becoming hysterical at the thought that her brother and father could both be trapped inside. However, all worry is paused for a second when a lifeless body is carried out of the building on a stretcher. The crowd, gathered, immediately recognize it as Stephen. This new discovery appears to bring the reality of the explosion home to Gaby, again, and she cries pathetically to the fire officer regarding Brad and Beth.

. . .

They, however, are discussing the finer points of being involved in such a disaster, and Brad contemplates whether they'll make the television news or the newspapers. As Beth screams back that they may never live to see the aftermath, the booming voice of a fire fighter is heard. Beth pleads for him to help her and Brad.

Phoebe is sitting at home, in the middle of a film, when the broadcast is disrupted by a news report: "Good evening. A large explosion has ripped through Lassiter's Hotel in the heart of Erinsborough. Preliminary reports do not rule out the possibility of a bomb. Several people are believed trapped in the wreckage. We'll bring you live coverage as soon as it's to hand." Phoebe realizes the awful truth that Stephen may well be involved.

. . .

Down in the cellar, the fire crew and paramedics are tending to Beth - whom they suspect to have spinal injuries. Brad, however, seems more or less unscathed.

Philip has opened the Coffee Shop as a refuge centre for survivors, family and anxious guests. Pam and Lauren race into the café desperate for news. They are both relieved that Brad and Beth are alive and seemingly well, but are disheartened by the news of Stephen's injuries and the fact that Doug and Lou are still missing. Philip is advised by the fire chief to evacuate all the hotel rooms closest to the Waterhole, due to the perilous nature of the area. Pam admits, despite her experiences as a nurse, it's difficult to comprehend something so catastrophic when it involves members of one's own family. Phoebe arrives at the Coffee Shop distraught - unable to find Stephen. Philip braces her for some bad news, and advises her to sit down.

. . .

The cellar is being cleared and Brad and Beth are prepared for their evacuation.

Pam and Lauren have recovered from the initial shock of not being able to find their respective relatives, and break into an almost comedic piece of dialogue about how irresponsible both men are regarding waiting at the pub until last orders. At that moment, Doug bursts into the shop exclaiming relief at having found his wife and Lauren. He assures his friend's daughter that Lou is tucked up in bed after they both went for a hamburger following their last drink.

. . .

Meanwhile, the cellar is almost clear and Brad and Beth are lifted onto stretchers in order to be carried out of the rubble.

Gaby returns to the Coffee Shop and immediately falls into Doug's arms - relieved that he is alive and well. She then tells Philip that as many guests as possible have been moved to the farthest wings of the hotel and that others are residing at Parkside Pacific. Lauren, relieved that Lou is well, but still harbouring some unresolved feelings for Brad, feels awkward among the Willises, so leaves quietly.

. . .

Outside the Waterhole, Lauren sees Brad and Beth being carried out of the pub and pushes through the crowds to get a closer look.

The fire chief informs the Willises that the couple have been removed from the wreckage and are being put into an ambulance.

. . .

As the family runs across the complex towards the ambulance, Lauren is left staring into the back of the van and she sees Brad and Beth, lying side by side, holding hands.

At Erinsborough Hospital, a nurse escorts Phoebe to Stephen's intensive care bay. The nurse warns her that they won't know the full result of his injuries until all the tests have been examined. Phoebe looks down on her husband's bruised, unconscious body, and takes a deep breath.

. . .

The following morning, Gaby and Philip are walking around the boarded up ruin of the Waterhole. Gaby continues to be puzzled as to how such an obviously large build up of gas wasn't smelt by someone prior to the blast. Little does she know that Annalise tried her hardest to warn her of the smell only minutes before the blast. Gaby agrees to fax the accident report to Paul as soon as she can organise one.

At the hospital, Brad is comforting an upset Phoebe who is upset that she and Stephen were arguing before he left for the pub. Lauren arrives and gets unpleasant when Brad announces he's going to wait and see how Beth has survived the night. Lauren begins to accuse Brad of caring more about his ex-fiancé than her and shouts. Phoebe, full of worry over Stephen, snaps at the pair of them - telling them to shut up.

. . .

Pam and Doug are taking care of baby Hope while Phoebe waits at Stephen's bedside. Pam interrogates her husband about the empty pay slips she found in his jacket pocket. Doug attempts to back his way out of admitting the truth, but Pam has gone one better and contacted Neville, one of Doug's employees. He has told Pam that none of the workforce has been paid - and she has a pretty good idea of where the money intended for their wages has disappeared! Doug shouts at Pam, assuring her all the workers will be paid.

At the hospital, Phoebe is in conversation with the consultant in charge of Stephen's case. He tells the young Mrs Gottlieb that Stephen has swelling of the brain at the base of the head. But, despite the risk of paralysis, he encourages her to think positively and not to dwell on the negative.

. . .

At the same time, back at No.28, Lauren apologises to Brad for her attitude at the hospital. Brad warns Lauren that despite he and Beth having separated, they will always be friends whether she likes it or not.

Philip pops round to No. 26 to see Annalise - hoping she may be able to shed some light on the mysterious explosion. Philip explains the fire report suggests the gas would have been building up for several days. Annalise admits she did smell gas, and that she tried to both report it to Gaby and to Lassiter's Maintenance, but that she got tied up at the bar. Philip is furious that she made no further attempts to report it, and tells Annalise that he must dismiss her immediately.

. . .

. . .

Stephen is beginning to gain consciousness. Phoebe reminds him of the accident and tells him that he's being well looked after in hospital. Stephen manages to mutter, "Nurse, could I have a glass of water, please?" as Phoebe looks on shocked.

Summary by Rhys