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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
British tourists 'flee Superdome'
Evacuation from the Louisiana Superdome
Thousands of people are being evacuated from the Superdome
A group of Britons have been escorted out of the New Orleans Superdome to ensure their safety.

Jamie Trout 22, from Sunderland, was among 50 tourists stranded in horrific conditions in the devastated city.

They had joined up to 30,000 other people taking refuge from Hurricane Katrina in the venue.

But Mr Trout's family said the group was escorted to a nearby hotel by the National Guard after the Britons were targeted by others in the shelter.

The graduate economics student was travelling in the US when he was caught up in the devastation of the hurricane.

I'm very pleased that he's out of the dome but I'm worried that nothing is being done to get them away from the place
Jonathan Trout
He had also been coaching football to disabled children as part of the Camp America scheme.

Mr Trout's brother Jonathan said: "We got a text message from someone whose phone was working which said he was alive but in terrible conditions.

"Then last night our mother got a call saying the situation had deteriorated.

"He witnessed a good deal of violence, with scuffles going on and people breaking things.

"The group really feared for their safety because they were being targeted because they were the only white people there.

"The National Guard moved them out into the basketball stadium next door where the very sick were being held.

'Desperate people'

"I understand they were helping the medical teams overnight, then they were moved into the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

"I think it's where the mayor's office is, and where the federal emergency response team are, so it's a secure place.

"What we don't know is how they are going to get out of there because the only way is to go out into the Superdome and queue with the over evacuees, which I imagine they are not prepared to do.

"The situation in the dome was really dire with temperatures of over 100 degrees, no working toilets since Sunday and there have been, I think about 30,000 people all getting very desperate.

"I'm very pleased that he's out of the dome but I'm worried that nothing is being done to get them away from the place."

Mr Trout, who was with two friends, said: "We were in Miami for three or four days when Katrina first hit.

Filthy toilets

"We rode that storm out and then decided to go to New Orleans. We didn't realise the storm was heading that way."

He said of his eventual Superdome refuge: "There was a lot of heat from the people in there, people shouting racial abuse about us being white.

"The army warned us to keep our bags close to us and to grip them tight."

He said he saw crack cocaine being used in the filthy toilets, youngsters breaking into soft drink machines and men brawling. Urine and excrement spilled into corridors where they were sleeping.


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