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Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Bali terror: Were you there?
A devastating car bomb blast at a crowded nightclub has brought death and destruction to the paradise island of Bali.
Nearly 200 people were killed, most of them Western tourists.
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said that as many as 33 Britons were killed in the bomb attack.
The Sari Club in the resort of Kuta was reduced to a heap of smouldering ruins by the blast, which also wrecked nearby discos, restaurants and a hotel.
The area was crowded with people who were on a Saturday night out.
It is being described as the worst act of terror in Indonesia's history, and has brought condemnation from world leaders.
Were you there? Send us your comments. If you are looking for friends or relatives, you can send us a picture as an attachment.
This Talking Point is now closed. A selection of your e-mails is published below.
APPEALS FOR NEWS:
Here is a link of telephone numbers to local hospitals in Bali. Also a list of people in hospital at the bottom of the page. My heart goes out to all people involved in this horrific incident. http://www.indo.com/bali121002/
Could someone please tell me where I can find the names of missing Balinese people from the bombing as I have many Balinese friends? Is it already posted on the web? Thanks.
The Balinese have also created a crisis centre to report or find missing persons. The address is www.mmc-marketing-group.com/october12/
My deepest sympathy to the families of the one who died or were hurt, and also to the two people united in sorrow, Indonesian and Australian.
To everyone: there's a list of people who have been identified at www.thejakartapost.com
Another website that has info about the Bali bombing with a list of hospitalised victims and other important facts is: www.balisos.com
The Singapore Cricket Club has a rugby team website - http://www.singaporecricketclub.com/ . My thoughts are with you all back in Asia and your friends and relatives around the world.
Does anyone has information about Anthony Cachia, and whether he has been found?
I'm currently a student at the Chinese International School in Hong Kong and one of the teachers from our school is on the missing list in Bali. Shane Walsh-Till is still unaccounted and if you have any information about him please contact my school as soon as possible. You will be able to find an e-mail address at our school website which is www.cis.edu.hk. The son of another teacher at my school is also missing, his name is Jamie Wellington and he was a teacher at the Jakarta International School, If you have any information about him as well, please get in touch. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the people of Bali. I'm now hoping that foreigners will still continue to visit Bali, since I strongly believe that the Balinese people shouldn't have to a pay a price for something that they didn't deserve.
Looking for a young gal in her late 20's, a teacher from USA but working in Korea and was in Bali the day of the bomb. We have heard nothing - and am anxiously awaiting to know of her whereabouts. Name of: Megan Heffernan. Please advise. Thank you!!!
Does anyone have information about five young British men who were in Kuta at the night of the explosion? They were surfing and Kuta was the second stop on their six months journey. I think they lived in Cornwall, they were aged 19-22. Three of them were called Gary, Josh and Dan. They flew in to Bali on 10th of October coming from the Philippines.
If you could help me that would be fantastic: Charles Vanrenen (26 years old) an Australian citizen, living in Singapore, was with friends in Paddy's Bar on October 12 when the bomb blast occurred. Many of his friends did not survive but Charlie was pulled from the wreckage by SOS workers and taken to the main Bali Hospital. He had burns on his arms and other parts of his body. He was unconscious but alive. He may still be unconscious or have amnesia.
His face was recognisable. Two of his friends found him and recorded his name on an identification sheet. He has a scar which wraps from the front of his chest to his back. He was wearing a TAG watch. His passport and wallet were left in his hotel room and have since been retrieved by his parents who have flown from France - hoping to find him.
The hospital staff are adamant that Charles was dispatched on one of the first flights to Darwin with Polly Miller, a friend who has since been located in the Royal Brisbane Hospital. However Charles' name has not been recorded on any of the evacuation lists and no trace of him can be found. He has not been sighted in the morgue in Bali. If ANYONE remembers seeing him on a RAAF plane or in any of the hospitals (Photo of Charlie attached, more to come) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
John Beaumont - where are you? Still waiting for news on our cousin. He was in Manado, North Sulawesi on 8 October. From there he was heading to Flores in East Nusa Tengarra and on to Bali. He's a backpacker and usually wears his hair pulled back in a pony tail. He may be off the beaten path, but if you have seen him, please email me so I can set his parents' mind at rest.
John Beaumont now found safely back in Manado after being out of touch with civilization on the Togean Islands, not having made it to Bali. Thanks for all your well wishes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to other families and friends who are still waiting for news.
I have a friend who went over to Bali to attend a wedding in the area. He went over with his wife and his two sons. I have not heard anything from them and would be very grateful if anyone could give me some information. The family name is Walsh.
Whilst reading the Evening Standard yesterday I noticed that a Mr Jon Ellwood was murdered in Bali. A former teacher of mine at Duke of Kent School in Ewhurst was also a Mr Ellwood and the picture provided was very familiar. The Mr Ellwood I knew was a fantastic teacher and I would like to either have my mind put at ease or if somebody could confirm the worst. The Mr Ellwood I knew left the school around 1994. Thank you to anyone who may be able to help.
I'd like to offer my deepest sympathy to the family of Jon Ellwood. I was a student of his at Duke of Kent school in Surrey from 1989-1992 and he was a fantastic, inspirational and ultimately fun teacher. He taught me history and coached me in athletics and to this day I remember the great times spent under his tutelage, his humouring smirks and the fun and freshness he'd bring to each lesson. He will be sorely missed.
Ronnie and Nikky, UK/Aus
Ronnie and Nikky: I am also looking to hear word about Sylvia Dolais from Melbourne - the big woman with an even bigger heart. She is one of my closest and dearest friends. I saw Michael in a news clip showing her picture to a reporter. I am so broken up about this. I don't know how to contact Michael. Can you help?
Roxanna, I did speak to Michael in Bali but have lost contact since he moved hotel there. We will not stop in our search to find news of our dear friend Sylvia. Please e-mail us! email@example.com.
Does anyone know anything about Patrick Castagnet or Carlos Ruiz?
I am looking for information regarding my friend Michael Standring. He is a South African chap working in Sydney. He was holidaying in Kuta and was in the vicinity of the blast. Last we heard was he got separated from the rest just after the first blast. Any information regarding Michael will be appreciated.
Arnie Chaudhuri, you were looking for Michael Standring, news I am sorry to say is not good. Mike has not been found yet, he was with his friend Jason in the middle of the Sari nightclub and after a search which involved two of his brothers going to Bali, they have not been able to bring us any good news. I met you at the Nokia day at Chesington Park a few years ago. Thanks for your concern.
Trish, thanks for the update. I am really sorry to hear the news. Our thoughts are with you and Mike's family. We are still hoping.
Do you have any information about Anthony Francis Cachia of Maltese origin residing in Australia?
Huge distress and discomfort since our favourite cousin was spending a holiday in Bali. Any news of Francis Anthony Cachia from Melbourne, Australia? Please? XXX
Any news of (or hopefully from) my friend Anne Hext from England who was in Bali last weekend?
My daughter's really good friend Aussie Jason Stokes from Perth has been confirmed as being in the nightclub on that night. He is missing and no news as yet. His family and we are hoping he is OK. If you have heard anything re: Jason, please e-mail.
Nick Forrest, UK
I would love to speak to Matt Boyce who was in Paddy's bar on Saturday evening. My brother-in-law Tim was there too and has not been seen since. He was on tour with Singapore cricket/rugby club. Can anyone help? PLEASE!!!!
I have good news for those who are looking for Matt Boyce and Daniel, they survived the blast.
To Evo, Indonesia: You mentioned Matt Boyce and Daniel... Daniel who?? We are searching for a Daniel Braden (was supporting rugby team). Please, any news, anyone?!
I'm sorry Charlotte, I have no more complete data on Daniel guy. I got these names through an e-mail and just
passed it on... but I'll tell you if I get more info.
Paula Schaap, USA
Has anyone found Karrie Casner, 23 years old from San Diego and Texas???
Just 50 metres from the blast, the ground shaking, the roof falling in, glass smashing everywhere, chaos all around: the shock was immense. To CJ and Bead please let Alex and I know you're OK. And to Eric Constantine from Surfers Paradise, get in touch please! My heart goes out to everyone who was there and to family and friends of those lost in the tragedy.
Daniel Mathews, from Ireland, is missing. He is the son of my life-partner. Does anyone know more?
I am trying to get news about Steen Ekstrom who lives in Kuta. He is Danish, 59 years old about 6' 1", short white hair, tanned and medium build. If anyone has any news, he has not contacted his family in Denmark, I have been unable to contact him. He lived in Perumahan Villas in Kuta. Any news please e-mail.
Looking for Steen Ekstorm. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Any news of Tim Arnold?
Kim, New Zealand
Looking for relatives, Pete Hickerson and Jim Cobell.
Thank you so much.
Rachel Blackmore, England
We have just heard that Kate Blackmore and Jamie Houghton are safe and sound. As a family we would like to thank everyone for their help and support over the last few days. Our thoughts are with those still waiting to hear about loved ones.
I'm looking for our friend Crispian (Cris) Spring and his new wife Joe (Cook) Spring from England. They were honeymooning in Bali and I have not been able to reach Cris's parents. If anyone knows, please let me know right away. Thank you.
I'm trying to contact Andrew (Collo) Collins and his brother Richard (Dickie) Collins who were staying at the Wina Hotel. They were on a footie tour from Melbourne, also Andrew's girlfriend Jessie. Please help if you know how I can contact them. Thanks.
We are looking for Emma Fox from the UK who was travelling with her friend Lucy. Emma is 165cm tall, 60kgs with blue eyes and mousy brown hair. She has two moles on her right cheek and one mole to the left of her nose. We last heard from her at approx 19:30 local time at Kuta beach on Saturday. If you have any information, please e-mail email@example.com
Concerned about an old friend who MAY (unsure) have been in Bali - Alison Joy, last e-mailed me from Bali last November.
My friend Dimitris Panagoulas is missing in Bali. I would be very grateful if any one had any information regarding his whereabouts.
I am trying to track down my friends Bettina Brandes and her boyfriend Charlie who were last seen in the Sari nightclub. Both of them are still missing and we are really desperate to find out if they have been found. Can anyone help us to find out their whereabouts?
I, too, am seeking information regarding Bettina Brandes. Please, has anyone heard from her or any of the people she was with at the Sari nightclub?
To Gillian Hull and Lisa (USA), Bettina Brandes is listed as one of the HKFC gang still missing (together with friends of ours). I believe it is thought that Charlie was hospitalised after the blast and may now be in Australia? Further information can be obtained from the HKFC website. www.hkfcrugby.com
I'm a friend of Bettina Brandes. She was studying with me in Nice and her hometown is just 20 ks away from mine. I was shocked when I heard about her being missing, as I had wondered about not hearing anything from her for 4 weeks now. Is Charlie being treated in Australia ? My thoughts are with her Mum, who is a lovely person. Tina, I miss you.
To Lisa (USA), K&P and Gillian Hull,
I am Bettina's best friend in Hong Kong. At the time of the blast she was with two other close friends of mine on the dance floor in the Sari Club. Polly is in hospital in Australia - the others are still missing. All their friends and families are now awaiting news from the authorities and would appreciate some time and space.
Elora, Bali, Indonesia
Hi, anyone seen Jen Lychy from Whistler, Canada? She was looking forward to a well-earned month's break in Kuta last time I heard from her and just need to know she's OK. Thanks and thoughts are with you.
My family and I are desperately seeking news of our good friend Ketut Suwastika. Ketut lives in Kuta and works at the Novotel. We have sent many mails since the devastating bomb but with no replies which is very unusual and our concern grows by the silent hours. We only pray that he was at home visiting his parents when this atrocity occurred. Anyone with any news please let us know. Thank you.
Denise, England: Contact number for the Novotel Benoa (ex-Australia), I hope they are of some help:
We are looking for any information on Mervin Popadynec. He was in Bali and a member of the Australian rugby team.
We are looking for Emma Fox and Lucy Empson from the UK who were last heard from in Kuta Beach on Saturday. They are both in their early 30s. Please contact us if you have any information. Thank you.
Can anyone please give me news on David French, staying in the Suka Beach Inn or Johno and Brad, two big Ozzie lads from south of Perth? I left Bali last Monday after three weeks holiday, much of which in Jalan Legian, the SC and Paddy's. I made many friends there with travellers and the staff of the bars. I feel disbelief, horror and despair at the tragic loss of life in its prime.
I have just spent the last two hours in a pub talking to a close friend... She knows for sure one of her friends is dead and is still waiting for the names of the other eight. This was one of the illustrious Hong Kong rugby clubs, a club that I myself was invited to join not weeks ago.
Josh Geurtsen, USA
I am looking for Simon Yearley and his Japanese girlfriend, Kio. Any news, please:
A teacher at my school was with his rugby team just about to enter the Sari Club when the bomb went off. If anyone has any information on Jamie Wellington from Jakarta International School, let me or the school know.
In response to two of the messages listed here, I can only say that an e-mail circulated amongst expats in Jakarta today confirmed that the following members of the ISCI (Jakarta) Rugby Club are still unaccounted for: Mervin Popandynec, Jamie Wellington, Nathan Swaine, Robert Thwaites and Scott Lysart. If anyone has better or more up to date news, please contribute to this site, asap.
This entry is for Mike Bruce, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Mike, it is with sad news that one of the fine young men that you mentioned, Robert Thwaites, was outside the Sari Club and did not make it. As for the other names you mention, I have no information.
A tragic event in such a beautiful part of the world. Why?
I had a niece in Bali just a few doors down from Sari Club, Tara Isherwood, she is OK and now safe in Sydney Australia. If you need any other info let me know.
Please help, everything from burns medication to counselling services are desperately needed and any help you can offer will be appreciated.
My husband Richard and I returned home from Bali on Thursday. Many thanks to all friends and family who have been contacting us to check on our safety and whereabouts.
We hope that everyone staying at the Bali Tropic Hotel in Benoa are OK.
Looking for news about best mate Joe Griffiths, who last contacted me from Bali whilst travelling in the Far East. Joe, if you're reading this, drop me a line and let me know that you're OK mate. If anyone who has met him has any news, please get in touch.
Roland in France, don't worry about Joe Griffiths, he is in Thailand and fine. I was in the bomb but he had left for Thailand the week before. The whole thing was horrendous - I am lucky to be alive and am now back in UK.
Melanie from England, thank you so much.
I'm a Filipina living in Finland, trying to trace my friends who probably went to Indonesia. Does anyone know if there is a list of victims' names up on the web yet?
Bill Phillips Lenzie, Scotland
Looking for Neil Forrester, who was in Kuta on Saturday night. Tall, 23-year-old Scottish lad, just arrived in Bali last week travelling. Please contact if anyone has any news, we haven't heard from him at all.
Some Hong Kong people, Chinese and Westerners (mostly Brits and Aussies) included, were reported missing after the blasts. Many of them toured with their rugby teams. May God help them come home in good shape.
Can anyone help me find my brother? He is English, his name is Dan and he was with his Japanese wife Nobye in Kuta on Saturday night. I have not heard from them since the bomb. If you have any information at all please email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for Russell Deane from US, visiting Bali.
Can anyone help locate Ian Findley, age 55 from the north-east of England, last seen in the Sari Club when the bomb went off?
Ian Findley, 55, from West Pelton, County Durham, has been confirmed dead by a friend and travelling companion who identified the body in Bali.
We used to be members of HKFC and fear we have lost some friends in the blast as many were on a rugby tour. We have been told that there are 10 missing, almost certainly dead and one who has been airlifted to Australia with severe injuries. Our only hope is that they spent their last moments living life to the full as we remember them!
A list of the missing is on a Hong Kong Rugby Union website www.hkrfu.com (goto "HK Football Club statement" at the bottom of the home page).
For anybody wanting to know those persons at present unaccounted for from Hong Kong Football Club please visit http://www.hkfcrugby.com/.
Is there a list of the British dead and missing?
Has anyone any news of a Canadian couple, Patricia Germain and Pierre St Laurent? Friends of mine were married last Saturday and have been in Bali on their honeymoon. Their families have not been able to reach them since the tragedy.
If anyone needs news on the SCC members, we have a hotline +65 6338 5896.
I was there and very close to the blast. Hope I'm not one of the people feared missing.
Kiwi in London was contacted by another friend in Singapore Hospital, who thought he (Kiwi in London) might know someone injured. I was then contacted and had just been told five minutes before, about an injured person recovering in Singapore. Small world, thanks to e-mail news travels faster than voice messages. He was a UN worker in East Timor, on a short holiday break to Bali. He suffered 10% burns his on arms and shoulders, and is recovering in a general ward.
I travelled on the coach from Penang - KL - Singapore with a girl called Anita Beckwith; when I came to Oz she went to Bali. Just want to say I hope she is safe and well.
Once again the lists are posted as they were in my country in the early days after 9/11. My heart mourns as the hairs go up on the back of my neck at the achingly similar pleas for information, the descriptions of beloved ones, the desperate searches amidst this insane psychopathic nihilistic madness. Please know in this time of your tragedy that this American loves you Aussies and Brits, and sends to all our prayers and deep sympathy. .
I spent the best two years working in Lombok and have yet to live anywhere better. I will get back to Bali as soon as and carry as much cash as possible to spend. I hope others who have loved the islands as much as I have will do the very same. Go to Bali and dont let those
few destroy the livelihoods of the whole region, as if they haven't already had enough to deal with. Guarantee you will have the best time.
Christian Askman, Sweden
Since people still visit New York - there's no reason to suddenly abandon Bali. I am planning a trip early next year and I haven't changed my mind.
I am a good friend of somebody that lost a good friend in the Bali bombing. My friend, caught in the epicentre of grief, is inconsolable and like the blast waves of the explosion, spreading outwards, I too feel the grief left as I am to pick up the pieces, clear up the debris of this terrible crime born of an ignorance and hatred to which we must not stoop.
Tuiasau Leota Petaia, Samoa
I was in Bali for two weeks in September. The day before the blast I booked a return trip and leave next week to spend another month in one of the most beautiful and friendly countries on earth. I grew up in Belfast and know the effects of terrorism all too well but they cannot be allowed to win. I urge everyone who was thinking of going there not to abandon their plans. Help the people of Bali and show the terrorists that they cannot win. Bali is still a paradise on earth and you will be as safe there as in any Western country.
Today I was informed of the death of a very dear friend, Doug Warner who was murdered in the blast.
To all those people who ever met him, he will be missed.
My thoughts go to his family, and wife Inga.
Wherever you may be now roaming Doug, you will forever have a place in my heart. Rest in peace.
We are part of the Brownsons soccer team staying in Bali; we returned home 24 hours before the blast. Thank you to everyone who has called to check on our safety, it is very moving. My prayers to all those still waiting for news - your wait must be agonising, God bless.
My son Tom Woods and partner Denise were reported missing by us on Saturday night. We went through the terrible nightmare of waiting three nights - 58 hours - but were one of the lucky families. They were off the island at the time of the blast and knew nothing of the horror. Imagine the relief we felt but also the deep sadness for all the others coping with that overpowering grief.
My two daughters were staying in Bali at the Hard Rock Hotel, three blocks from the bombing. They were in their hotel room Saturday night when they heard a tremendously loud bang and the windows rattled. Their hotel lobby was used as a triage site for the wounded. They describe the whole scene as horrendous. I thank God that my girls were saved. Let us please pray for the many parents who were not so fortunate.
In memory of Tom Holmes... mountaineer, engineer, rugby player, friend... Those of you who knew Tom from a young age will appreciate his tremendous enthusiasm for everything he did. I and my family will recall his scaling the heights of Kinabalu in Sabah with his sister Clare at an early age, his "On-on" cry and his rugby scrimmaging skills, his tender regard for others... you have gone Tom but will always be remembered. To Tom, Clare, Paul, Jane and Peter Holmes from the Gudgeon family... Peter, Sue, Claire, Chris, Alex and Piers.
To the family and close friends of Tom Holmes:
I saw Tom in Hong Kong several times, but
met him in Singapore just as often. He was
always willing to meet for a drink and
socialise with anyone he knew. Full of
the joys of spring, and full of opinions(!) -
never a dull moment.
Tom, the others from HKFC, and the
SCC in Singapore, you'll be sorely missed.
My boyfriend and I were in Kuta 100 meters from the bombs when they went off. We feel very happy to be alive but incredibly sad for those who didn't make it and their poor families. The feeling here is one of shock. Everyone has been supporting each other in the search for missing friends and relatives. There is a lot of sympathy for the Balinese whose industry will most likely be destroyed for quite sometime. Before and after the tragedy the locals have been friendly and professional, even those who have lost loved ones themselves. I think we need to keep positive and like the Balinese keep smiling and together we can root out the evil responsible for this terrible atrocity.
What on earth is the British government up to? The Aussies have spared no expense and shown compassion by having the Royal Australian Air Force fly home their dead and injured, yet our government insist that Brits, including the injured must pay their own way. Come on Tony Blair, hang the expense, its peanuts on the defence budget, dispatch a RAF Tristar with a full medical team immediately and bring our injured home for proper care.
It has been very difficult for us, here on Bali who are all working without sleep to do what we can, organising funds for Indonesian victims, giving blood, gathering clothing, bringing food, bringing water, contacting families, and trying to stay strong for the families who are on their way from distant lands all over the planet. My girlfriend's family are coming from Ecuador, and will be arriving tomorrow afternoon.
It has been very difficult at the hospital, with so many unrecognisable bodies, burned beyond recognition. I'm grateful that my Ana's body is still so beautiful, her death a result of a large piece of shrapnel in the side of her chest and into her lung. There is still much work ahead for us, and we must go on.
Witnessing this horrific carnage has been far more grief-provoking for me than the passing of my poor old Dad last year. All those sweet, young, innocent faces gone forever! Sunday morning brought true stories from our Balinese families who already, suddenly had death and burn injuries in their lives. As the day wore on and the numbness grew, rumours of our dear Ecuadorian friend, Ana Cecila Aviles emerged.
They were that she had died in the arms of an Aussie stranger who she had given her name to and asked him to contact her family. We tried calling her, hoping to hear her voice. We did, but it was only her recording asking us to leave a message. Monday morning brought the truth - it was indeed our peace-loving, happy, beautiful friend that had been in the path of those hideous senseless murderers!
Attempting to shake off some of the numbness, we hit the streets to buy up all of the medical supplies in our neighbourhood and deliver them along with fans, sheets, towels and food to main public hospital in Denpasar and offer our services as volunteers. Doing something actually helped lift our fallen spirits, but arriving at the hospital was just a little above depressing. It was hard to see who was organising what - many locals, expats, tourists, press people and various people in uniforms of allsorts.
We returned back to Seminyak in the late afternoon to honour our friends and fallen angels at a sunset vigil on the beach in front of La Lucciola. About 500 people gathered into a gigantic circle, holding hands, chanting, hugging, crying and praying that last Saturday night can never be repeated.
Paul Cerny, UK
12 October brought the realities of terrorism to the forefront of my mind. Nothing can bring sense to the sight of revellers enjoying the evening in one moment, and the sight of amputated body parts strewn in the street in the very next beat of life. I saw life slip away from so many innocent people throughout the night. So many hours of manpower are dedicated to battling drugs on this island and yet something as destructive and gruesome as bombs slipped into the nightclubs here undetected.
As former club members we were shocked to hear that Hong Kong Football Club rugby team mates were among those missing. The Hong Kong British ex-pat community is so close knit - especially at the football club where this will have a devastating effect. Despite telephone calls from friends in Hong Kong to update us - the news has not been good. Amazing how useless one can feel stuck 13 hours away...
A young relative of ours was in the Sari Club when the blast hit. He had gone there to celebrate the wedding of close friends married last week in Bali. He is alive but both the bride and groom are presumed dead. I don't know what else to say, how to express the incredible sorrow I feel for all of the lost and shattered lives - many of them our young and strong. Rest in peace.
Joe Davis, UK
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost friends, relatives, their hopes and dreams as a result of this terrible event. Let us also spare a thought for the thousands of Indonesians who are shocked and saddened by this attack, and have no wish to be part of such terrible actions. The madness and destruction must stop, the world over.
The car bomb outside the Sari Club in Kuta was horrifying and unjust. I, like many others, have visited the club with friends whilst in Kuta. It is frightening to think it was deemed a terrorist target. Is nowhere safe anymore?
It's unbelievable that terrorism has arrived at our very doorsteps. I know that Islam is not to be blamed for this and majority of the Muslims are innocent. But I appeal to the Muslim extremists out there to think as fellow humans and spare the innocent civilians from perishing in your cause.
Gavin, Jakarta (British)
I have spent the last half an hour reading everyone's comments about the atrocity on Saturday night. My sympathy goes out to those who were there and witnessed the devastation. I have lived in Indonesia for five years and although I am now back in the UK my parents still reside in Jakarta. I have been to Bali on numerous occasions and have fallen in love with it again and again. But I'm afraid to say that this act of terrorism will have brought Indonesia to its knees.
Mila, Bali, Indonesia
On Saturday, our last night in Bali, a few friends and I decided to have dinner at Ku De Ta in North Kuta. We finished dinner at around 10 and decided to have a brandy or two and sit on the beach before heading off to central Kuta and probably the Sari nightclub as that was the only place left on our list we hadn't done and were saving it until last. I am only very glad that the brandy on the beach turned into quite a few as the setting was so lovely. I remember seeing and hearing the blast on the beach and not knowing at the time what had happened. The intensity of the blast must have been incredible as the whole night sky was lit up orange. My thoughts go out to those who were not as lucky as my friends and I.
I just got out of Bali before they shut down the airport after the explosions at the Sari Club and Paddy's. I had been there for a month and had met and become good friends with both local people other travelling tourists, and are still awaiting e-mail responses from people that were there that night. My heart goes out to people who have lost loved ones in this horrific tragedy. But for people still waiting for responses to not give up hope.
Paul Reilly, England
I just got back to Canada, as I was scheduled to leave the very next morning. We were very lucky. We were waiting for a mate to arrive before heading out to the internet cafe and bars around the Sari Club. My mate was late showing up, and I was outside my hotel waiting for him instead of being there. The lights flickered, and then there was the explosion.
The bomb must have been huge as glass was shattering where I was over a kilometre away. I initially thought it was a gas explosion as that was the rumour on the streets. It wasn't until we checked the BBC website about two hours later that we knew for sure it was a bomb. It's sick that someone would intentionally go after tourists like that. Our hearts and thoughts go out to those who lost loved ones. To the Balinese people, thank you for everything.
The side of the building we were in was open anyway, so we ran out and away from the noise. I was really calm and clearheaded but the awful thing was we didn't know where the noise was coming from or what caused it. Some locals said it was electrics. We looked down the road and there was a big fire. We didn't know what it was but I knew that we had to get away, as fire rips through these substandard buildings really fast and I didn't want to get caught in a stampede, there were lots of people in the street.
Then we decided the safest place was the beach and headed down there, seeing broken shop windows on the way. We also saw two blokes, with ripped clothing, cuts and they were covered in black. They were probably on autopilot but we didn't think to stop and help them. We sat on the beach and had a beer.
The roads were blocked so we walked about three kilometres up the beach. We could see the fire from the beach and lots of smoke. What a night! I keep thinking of a woman I saw begging, with a young baby (about 3-4 months). That was shocking in itself, but now I think she probably didn't make it, she was right by the Sari Club.
To A Kiwi, New Zealand:
Your comments really moved me, thank you. I'm glad you got to have your beer so that you could pass that message on.
The news in England is packed with bombings and killings from around the East, it makes you glad to be a New Zealander and away from it all. But then something like this happens; suddenly we're in their shoes, it's scary. Even though some of us aren't as close to home as we would like to be at the moment we are still thinking of you. That goes to all the Aussies out there too, I know we argue like dogs over the rugby but we are neighbours and we do stand together.
I was in Paddy's pub, 20 metres away. All your worst nightmares mixed up together, after one big ball of fire.
Rebecca Herreros, England
I was only there last week and thank my lucky stars we arrived back to the UK in time. My heart goes out to the people affected by the awful tragedy. My friend Scott is still out there and was sat on his balcony behind the Sari Club having a quiet beer on his own when the explosion took place. The beer bottles smashed and the roof tiles came down on him followed by a gust of very warm wind. The tragedy then unfolded with carnage of the injured appearing in the streets before him.
We are devastated.
James Allen, UK
My thoughts go out to all those who have lost loved ones in this horrific tragedy. Sari Club holds so many amazing memories for me. I had planned to return again this Christmas, to re-live those times, and add to the stories. I hope that Made (the best barman in Sari) is OK, and that one day I will be able to share the good times over a jungle juice again. For such a beautiful paradise island this is so wrong. Dreamlands I will be back!
How could such a barbaric tragedy happen in one of the most serene, tranquil and beautiful place on earth? My condolences go to all the victims as well as Balinese and Indonesians. May God light the way and end terrorism once and for all.
To all the surfers who died at the Sari who I will never bump into next time I'm in Bali: I may not know your names but I know your faces. All us travelling Indo surfers are one. Rest in peace. May your spirits ride the bagus ombak.
To Russell the surfer, your few lines moved me so much, I think that they embody what we all feel. May all those who suffered be at peace.
I was in Bali two weeks ago on honeymoon in what I can only describe as being a beautiful country with equally beautiful people. The Balinese people could not be nicer. I am sickened to see what has happened in Bali and my thoughts and prayers are with those of the dead and missing.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the thing that meant the most to me was the outpouring of sympathy and support from around the world - most especially from Australia, as I have lived and worked there, and know its people as sincere and caring. I hope our words here can bring some of that comfort to the victims of this attack and their families.
I am Balinese who is studying in the UK. I was on the phone, talking to my dad when the blast occurred. I heard the sound clearly down the phone. It was at 1600 here in the UK. Then I saw on BBC there was a news about my lovely place and afterwards I cried.
I think it is over - the reputation of Bali as a safe place and island of paradise are history. I am worrying about my friends that are mostly working in the tourism industry. Moreover it is useless as well for me because currently I am studying tourism and hospitality management in the UK - I am thinking of change my course.
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