[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 12:17 GMT
'I walked into complete carnage'
Anxious Jordanians outside Radisson hotel in Amman, photo taken by reader Adnan Abdel-razzak
This reader photo shows crowds outside a hospital near the hotel after the attack
The Jordanian capital is still reeling after three bomb attacks targeting the city's hotels left scores dead and hundreds of people injured.

The BBC News website spoke to Bassam Banna, deputy general manager of the Radisson SAS hotel in Amman, who witnessed the horrific aftermath of the blast.


I received a call around 2100 from management, saying that something had happened in the hotel's main ballroom.

I didn't know what to think - it could have been anything. I just didn't know.

But when I got there I walked into carnage. I could tell it had been a huge bomb blast. There were casualties everywhere, the fire brigade was there along with ambulances.

Staff were wandering around with all their clothes bloodstained from helping casualties

Around 250 to 270 people were attending the wedding, between two local Jordanian families.

Someone had slipped into the wedding among the guests and about two minutes later there was this huge blast. I don't think anyone even saw him, not until it was too late.

I started rushing in to help, then the civil defence officials and police came in. We gave those who had survived first aid.

Ambulances rushed to the scene, and we were lucky in that there is a hospital nearby and many other doctors from other hospitals and clinics came in offering to help.

It was total chaos, we were really horrified.

Lost colleagues

A lot of the staff were wandering around with all their clothes bloodstained from helping casualties. Everyone was rushing to help - from junior staff members to the owners. We were treating people in house, in the hotel's restaurant.

Scene at one of the hotels
It was feared US ally Jordan would be attacked

Even people who were off duty came in to help.

The good thing is that the ballroom is on the left hand side of the hotel and so the blast did not affect the guests.

The wedding itself was mainly locals. Sadly, we lost one of our colleagues who was a banqueting waiter. He had been helping the guests when the bomb exploded.

I feel extreme anger that this happened, particularly at Jordanian wedding with people celebrating.

These people who have been killed were pure innocents, local Jordanians. So many have died, but we will not be defeated by this.

'Condemning terror'

The hotel is calm now, it is back to regular operations. We are still serving our guests - many refused to leave and said they would stay to help or just to support us.

The bomb was not intended for the specific hotel or any nationality, they just wanted to hit the country.

The authorities beefed up security around here a long time ago. We had barricades all round the hotel, security measures and frequent emergency drills.

We have had extremely efficient security here, but we never thought someone would do something like this.

Now, we are trying to recover. We are starting to repair the room. We have brushed up everything around the hotel, trying to put in new glass and in a couple of weeks we'll be back to normal.

At the hotel today, we have had demonstrations from local people condemning terror.

They are waving flags outside, chanting against terror, saying 'we will not be defeated. We will stand hand in hand against this'.



BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the scene of the explosions




PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific