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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Father's grief for Bali blast victim
Hannabeth Luke and Marc Gajardo - PA
Hannabeth Luke and Marc Gajardo lived in Australia
The father of a man from the UK killed in Bali has spoken of the loss of his son and condemned terrorists responsible for the atrocity.

Marc Gajardo's parents Ray and Carole were told of their son's death when his girlfriend Hanabeth Luke phoned to break the news at about 0315 BST on Sunday.

Speaking from his home in Carnon Downs, near Truro, Cornwall, Mr Gajardo snr said: "Our world has absolutely disintegrated. It has gone to shreds.

"The things I am trying to hold on to are his love of life, and the fact that he was having a great time out in Bali."


I just can't find anything in my heart to say that some time in the future I might find forgiveness for this

Ray Gajardo, victim's father

Mr Gajardo, 64, said Marc, 30, had spent his last minutes dancing with 22-year-old Ms Luke.

He said: "If you ever met Marc, he was so buoyant, outgoing and almost high - it was as if he was on drugs.

"He used to say to us 'I don't need drugs, I'm high on life'. That summed him up 100%. He lived to the absolute full."

Mr Gajardo said he felt "total hatred" for those responsible for his son's death.

"They have taken away a son who is more like a brother to me, who we loved dearly.

"I just can't find anything in my heart to say that some time in the future I might find forgiveness for this.

"After the initial grief of yesterday morning, besides feeling hollow and empty inside there was a surge of anger coming through that built up during the day."

fire
Hundreds were burned by the fire
Marc, a qualified mechanic, met Ms Luke in Cornwall. The pair shared a mutual love of surfing and left the county for Australia in December 2000.

Together they travelled around and picked up casual work before settling in Byron Bay - a surfing hot spot near Brisbane.

Mr Gajardo, a semi-retired musician, said: "Marc loved it out there. He loved the surf and the sun. The lifestyle there centres around the beach."

Marc and Ms Luke returned to England for a three-month holiday over the summer. After visiting Marc's family and doing some casual work, they left on 2 October, returning to Australia via Bali.

"They were going to be there for two to three weeks surfing and enjoying themselves. Now that has come to a bitter end," said Mr Gajardo.

He and his wife Carole, 59, had been unable to watch the television images of the devastation in Bali.

Funeral plans

Marc's body will be transported back to England next week. A funeral service will be held for family and friends in Cornwall.

Ms Luke is currently with her parents in Australia. She is expected to return to Cornwall for Marc's funeral next week.

Scores of Britons began arriving back in the UK on flights from the Far East following the bombings, which are believed to have killed up to 200 people and injured hundreds more.

Many of the travellers who touched down at Gatwick and Heathrow airports were in and around the area of the Sari Club at the time of the attacks and were met by anxious friends and relatives.

Daniel Edmonson, 24, and Sarah MacAllistair, 22, cut short their year's travelling two months early.

Just horrible

Miss MacAllistair said: "It was just horrible to be there, just horrible. We made friends there and friends of theirs had not come back from the club.

"Everyone just wants to go... It's horrible to see it. I just want to go home. I did not want to stay another minute in that place."

Mr Edmonson, a carpenter from Buckingham, described the panic as the bomb went off, and how scores of Western people ran to the beach for safety.


Everyone suddenly turned around and said, `Run for your lives'.

Nikki Bloomfield, survivor
He added: "I could just hear hundreds of people screaming and screams of fear.

"It was mayhem. There were people walking on the beach shouting for their friends. It was madness. They were just distraught.

"I feel bad and sad for all the people who are not back and who are never going to get back."

Nikki Bloomfield, 27, from Sunninghill, Berkshire, was about five minutes away from the club in her hotel when she witnessed what she thought was a gas explosion.

The former business manager who had spent five days on the Indonesian island after spending a month in Australia, said friends described seeing tourists with their limbs missing.

"There were live power lines lying on the ground and everyone suddenly turned around and said, `Run for your lives'. It was all very scary," she said.

Tears and distress

George and Yoriko Fowler, from Iver, Bucks, were waiting for their 26-year-old son Clyde, who lives in Bracknell, Berks, and had been backpacking across Asia.

Mr Fowler said: "We just got a phone call on Saturday night. He rang and told us he was lucky to be alive and he was injured. He has got a head injury and burns to his arm."

Anas Zabadne, 22, from Crowborough, East Sussex, said his brother, Ahmad, was in Paddy's Bar with three friends when the blast happened. He spoke of his relief that the 24-year-old was not more badly injured but said that he escaped with a burst eardrum.

Many travellers like Melanie Cohen from London burst into tears on seeing their relatives as they arrived back.

The 30-year-old, who was nursing a bandaged arm, said: "There was a big explosion and a lot of people died. Now I want to go home."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Survivor Paul Lawrenson
"I'm one of the lucky ones"
The BBC's Daniel Boettcher
"There are thought to be around 1000 Britons on the holiday island"
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
"This is a desperate, terrible act of terrorism"

Click here to go to BBC Cornwall

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See also:

13 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
12 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
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