Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 09:41 UK

'There was a huge explosion'

At least nine people have been killed and dozens injured by bombs at two luxury hotels - the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott - in Indonesia's capital Jakarta. Here witnesses tell the BBC what they saw.


There were people wandering out of the Marriott at that stage, I guess walking wounded would be the best way to describe them. These were people who were, you know, dust-covered, had cuts all over their body, you know, torn clothing. I saw maybe five or six people of that nature just wandering down and just sitting on the kerb at the side of the road.

Exterior of Ritz-Carlton hotel. Photo: Geoffrey Head
Businessman Geoffrey Head took this photo of the Ritz-Carlton

The first I knew about it was when some colleagues in the country actually gave me a phone call to tell me to get the hell out of the hotel. So I tried calling up reception, there was no answer.

Then I noticed the TV wasn't working. So I looked out of the window and saw, I could see down to ground level and I saw there was a lot of broken glass. So I thought it was time to actually get out. There was no evacuation warning or anything.

I guess the surreal thing was going down in the elevator and walking through the lobby and looking across to my left and noticing the actual cafe was completely blown out.


I had just been out exercising and I just walked past the Marriott and the Ritz prior to heading back to my apartment about 70 metres away from both locations.


And I just got back to my room and there was this huge explosion and I looked out of the window and I saw a big plume of smoke, black and brown smoke coming from the direction of the Marriott. Because I work for a local, national television network in Indonesia, AMTV, I actually grabbed my iPhone and just nipped downstairs to see if I could get a couple of shots of what it was.

As I got downstairs there was another massive explosion at the Ritz-Carlton and so I headed over to the Ritz-Carlton and there was still smoke clearing out of, billowing out of both sides of the Ritz-Carlton and it appeared that the bomb had actually been in what's called the Airlanga restaurant area.


I heard the two explosions this morning, one around 0755 and one a few minutes later. I live 300 metres or so from the Marriott. The area always has a heavy police presence, there were even more when I left the area at 0815.

This is the hotel that the Man U team are supposed to stay at this weekend for the match on Monday, if it is cancelled because of this it will be a major coup for the attackers.

The insurance company in charge of the hotels is saying now that the explosions are accidents, seems hard to believe.

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