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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 06:21 GMT 07:21 UK
Rugby fan escapes Bali bomb blast
Bali bomb scene
The scene around the club is one of devastation
A south Wales man narrowly escaped injury after becoming caught up in the terrorist attack on a Bali nightclub which killed 187 people.

Cardiff solicitor Richard Thomas, 33, was just seconds from entering the club in Kuta, when the huge car bomb was detonated.

One British tourist has been confirmed as one of those who died, and dozens of others were injured.

Mr Thomas - who works for solicitors Morgan Cole - had stopped for a quick meal with friends on the way to the club, and heard the bomb go off as they made their way there in a taxi.

The club had become a favourite with them, and they had been there for the previous six consecutive nights.

Richard phoned his parents' home in Bridgend a couple of hours later and left a message on the answer machine.

Richard's parents
Richard's parents received an answer machine message

Lynn Thomas and his wife Valerie - both schoolteachers - picked up the message after an evening out.

Mr Thomas said his son and friends would have certainly been killed if they had not stopped for food.

"They had been in the club every night, and if they hadn't stopped for the meal, they would have been on the dance floor when the bomb went off," he said.

"He had a very, very narrow escape."

Richard had flown to Bali a week ago to watch a rugby tournament and was heading to the club with friends from the team.

Hospital officials have estimated that 75% of the dead were foreigners, among them Australians and Germans, with at least another 210 reported injured.

Helpline numbers
British Consulate: 00 62 361270601
Foreign Office: 0207 0080000

Another bomb went off near the US consulate in Bali's capital Denpasar but no one was reported injured.

The British Consulate in Bali has set up a 24 hour telephone number for people anxious about relatives or friends in Kuta.

The Foreign Office said 40 British nationals were injured in the Bali explosions. Fourteen were still hospital, with 26 having been treated and discharged.

UK tour operators are preparing to fly home some of the 1,000 British tourists who were on Bali, while holiday companies are arranging alternative destinations for holidaymakers booked to visit Indonesia in the coming days.

P> The 24-hour telephone number set up by the British Consulate in Bali for people anxious about relatives or friends in Kuta is 00 62 361270601.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales' Tim Richards
"They heard the blast as they were about to arrive"
The BBC's Richard Galpin
"The attack was clearly deliberately aimed at foreign tourists"
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
"This is a desperate, terrible act of terrorism"

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See also:

13 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
12 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
21 Sep 02 | Country profiles
12 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
13 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
13 Oct 02 | Asia-Pacific
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