Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Thursday, 27 November 2008

Visitor's Mumbai shooting escape

Troops outside Trident hotel, Mumbai
Troops surrounded the Trident hotel where Alan Jones was staying

A British businessman has described how he was forced to run for his life from one of the hotels attacked by gunmen in the Indian city of Mumbai.

Alan Jones, a media executive from Newport, south Wales, was enjoying an evening at the Oberoi hotel when gunfire erupted.

He was in a lift when a fellow occupant was shot in the leg, and had to pull the victim in as a gunman approached.

At least 101 people have been killed in the attacks, and 280 injured.

Seven British citizens are known to have been injured, with officials expecting that number to rise.

Eyewitnesses say the co-ordinated shootings in the city appeared to target foreign visitors, with the the attackers seeking out UK and US passport holders.

Scores of people said to include foreign nationals are being held hostage in two luxury hotels - the Taj Mahal Palace and the Oberoi - and an office block. The buildings are now ringed by troops.

Mr Jones was dining at the Oberoi with a colleague when chaos broke out.

"We decided to go to a bar on the roof of the Trident hotel," he said.

"It's about the 33rd floor, and we got up there and the bar was closed, so we headed back down to the lobby of the hotel," explained Mr Jones.

"As we got to the lobby, the doors of the lift opened and we heard bangs.

"The Japanese gentlemen who were in front of us in the lift... stepped out. Immediately they indicated we should get back into the lift.

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Louise Booker has been waiting anxiously for news of her sister Lynne, who's been in Mumbai with her husband Ken.

Flesh and bone

"As they got back into the lift one of them was shot. I'm not sure if he was shot once or twice, but he was certainly shot in the back of the leg quite badly, with blood and flesh and bone just showering us in the lift."

Mr Jones said he desperately pressed the close doors button on the lift, in a bid to escape.

"There was more firing - it felt like the gunman was coming towards us," he said.

Mr Jones said he was hiding in the lift "trying not to be shot" as the gunfire was "getting louder and louder".

But the foot of the man who had been hit was preventing the doors from closing, and Mr Jones had to get down and pull his foot, which was in a pool of blood.

'Panic'

Mr Jones fled to his room on the 28th floor of the hotel, and shortly afterwards was sent to a safe area in a basement ballroom.

"We stayed there for about an hour. There were a few panics obviously," added Mr Jones.

"From the basement ballroom we left the hotel via a back door in groups of 10. We had to poke our heads out of the door and leg it - run as fast as we can."

Mr Jones said he was now safe in his offices in the city.

"That's where we've been holed up ever since and watching it unfold on TV.

"I feel pretty bad, but I feel less shaken than I had been."

The Foreign Office has issued an emergency number for people with relatives in Mumbai: 0207 008 0000.

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SEE ALSO
Witnesses tell of Mumbai violence
27 Nov 08 |  South Asia
In pictures: Mumbai attacks
27 Nov 08 |  In Pictures


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