An Indian national, who escaped the worst terror attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, said it was a “horrific sight” to see huge chunks of glass on the bodies of fellow guests and white aprons of chefs drenched in blood after a suicide bomber struck a luxury hotel here.
Sri Lankan authorities said 290 people were killed and over 500 others injured when suicide bombers attacked three churches and luxury hotels in the country.
Akshat Saraf, 30, was in Colombo’s Shangri-La Hotel with his wife and infant daughter when the explosions struck. They could hear blasts from their room on the 25th floor.
“First blast was very loud and our room started shaking. At first I thought it was a thunderstorm and I didn’t pay too much attention. It had been raining in Sri Lanka for some time,” he said.
“It was the second blast when I sensed that something was not right,” he said.
Saraf said he and his family grabbed their passports and took the emergency exit to head to the ground floor.
“When we reached the 4th floor we saw blood on the stairs,” Saraf said.
“When we evacuated that’s when we saw a lot of ambulances and hotel staff helping the injured guests outside.”
“It was a horrific sight. When I saw injured guests, they seemed very serious. Some of them [had] chunks of glass stuck in their body. I could see some of the chefs in white aprons covered in blood.”
Police, army and emergency services personnel began arriving within five minutes, Saraf said.
Guests were evacuated offsite, and then to a nearby shelter with a few hours, he added.
At least six Indians died in the blasts.
On Sunday, India identified K M Lakshminarayan, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Lakshmana Gowda Ramesh as the three Indians who died in the blasts.
The Indian High Commission on Monday confirmed the deaths of two more Indians in the blasts – K G Hanumantharayappa and M Rangappa.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Sunday identified a Keralite, P S Rasina, among those killed in the blasts.
The Government Analyst’s Department said the blasts at the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels, and also at St Anthony’s Church in Kotahena, St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya and the Zeon Church in Batticaloa have been identified as suicide bombings.
“A total of seven suicide bombers had carried out these explosions,” the department was quoted as saying by the Sunday Times.