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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Major, Blair Visit Victims of School Shooting

DUNBLANE, Scotland -- British Prime Minister John Major talked Friday to wounded infants who survived a massacre that killed 16 of their classmates in the small Scottish city of Dunblane.


Major and opposition Labour Party leader Tony Blair visited Stirling hospital to meet children who somehow escaped with their lives when middle-aged loner Thomas Hamilton opened fire on their gym class on Wednesday morning.


"Over the last few days this community and this hospital has had to deal with horrors of almost unimaginable proportions," Major said afterwards.


Major and Blair, making a rare joint appearance, chatted with doctors, nurses and other staff at the hospital and talked quietly to some of the children and their parents.


The two men later went to Dunblane primary school to meet more parents and staff who dealt with the aftermath of the slaughter. Hamilton also killed a school teacher before shooting himself.


"I think we both found this very distressing and certainly very moving, and I hope that our coming together can symbolize the unity of the country in sympathy for Dunblane," said Blair, his voice shaky.


Two 5-year-old victims in Stirling are critically ill and officials said a girl taken to Glasgow with a fractured thigh suffered a relapse Friday and was dangerously sick. Four of the 12 wounded infants have already been sent home.


Emergency worker Brenda Fleming, who helped to treat the children after the shooting, said the horrific scene reminded her of a Hollywood film.


"If somebody had said stop filming, this is a Hollywood set, I would have believed them. It was so unreal. It still is," she said. "We went into the gym and it looked as though someone had stood in there and sprayed it with bullets and they'd just died where they stood."


Other witnesses spoke of tiny bodies lying all over the floor in a sea of blood.


At Dunblane primary school, the gates were decked with a mountain of soft toys and flowers, many bearing plaintive inscriptions. One huge bunch simply spelled out the word "Angels."


Flags flew at half-mast in the small cathedral city and many shops had hand-written signs in their windows. "Deeply shocked -- our thoughts and sympathies with parents and children," read one.


Lynne McMaster sobbed as she recalled the last moments with her daughter Victoria. "She said six bye-byes to me as she went down the path waving, looking back and laughing. Now I'll never see her again," she told The Sun newspaper.


Parents clutched the hands of their children tightly as they walked in the streets. A few people drifted into the landmark 13th-century cathedral to lay flowers and stuffed toys. A prayer vigil was scheduled for Friday night.


Queen Elizabeth, who is due to visit Dunblane on Monday, said she shared its grief.


But Stirling's mayor, Pat Greenhill, said local people were starting to resent the outside interest and high-profile visits. "Because of the scale of the tragedy, until the world moves back from us, we feel we can't really get started coming together," she told BBC radio.


A senior Scottish judge was due to began an investigation into why Hamilton, who used four different handguns, had been granted multiple firearms licenses.


One of the gun fanatic's last acts in life was to post copies of plaintive protest letters that showed he had come to the end of his tether.


The letters -- sent over the years to local officials, national politicians and even the queen -- burn with the crushing sense of grievance he felt against the police, whom he accused of unfairly branding him a "pervert."