Nov 27, 2008

India - Oz TV star Satchwell held up in terror-hit Mumbai

Mumbai, Nov.27 (ANI): Television star Brooke Satchwell is among several Australians trapped in terror-hit Mumbai.

ccording to the Daily Telegraph, the former "Neighbours" beauty and ex-girlfriend of actor Matthew Newton told of fleeing past bodies as Islamic terrorists attacked two exclusive hotels among a series of strikes across Mumbai.

Speaking on the phone from the city - where it was believed she was filming - she said: "It was terrifying".

She had been staying in the Taj Mahal hotel, where Westerners were taken hostage as others scrambled to escape.

The 28-year-old spent almost an hour hiding in the bathroom with six others before escaping, climbing over dead bodies as she went.

But then she found herself in the more dangerous surrounds of the street where terrorists were hunting foreigners.

"People were getting shot in the corridor and there was someone dead out the front of the bathroom,'' she told National Nine News.

"Next thing I knew I was running down the stairs and there were a couple of dead bodies across the stairs. It was chaos.''

After hiding for 45 terrifiying minutes she was helped out by staff members and ran to another hotel where she remained safe.

The actress, most recently seen in Nine drama Canal Road, was on holidays in Mumbai accompanying her film editor boyfriend David Gross.

Earlier,fashion designer Chloe Papazahariakis, who is in Mumbai to wed Bollywood star Puneet Vasishtha, said that she was trapped in a restaurant as gunmen ran amok.

One of her wedding guests, Isaac Zalme, has also told of seeing explosions and shooting.

"I look out onto the street and all I can see is ambulances and police," he said. "There were people driving around in a cop car shooting people."

Australians Steve Smith and Bernard Carpenter revealed the killers were "hunting down Westerners" to take them hostage.

A couple from Queensland, who were injured in a hail of bullets, also gave dramatic details of their ordeal.

Student David Coker told The Courier-Mail that he and his girlfriend, Katie Anstee, were in the well-known Cafe Leopold when terrorists opened fire.

"We had literally just ordered and then it seemed like firecrackers - people were screaming. Katie is in the operating theatre now. She was shot through her right leg. The bullet broke her femur and exited through the front of her thigh," Coker said, adding that he and Katie had tried to flee the popular cafe.

He said he was in front of Katie when he realised she was not following him.

"I turned around and she was crawling out the door because she couldn't walk.

"I grabbed her and got out of there as soon as possible. We got into a taxi. No-one knew what was going on. We were I think the first people at the Bombay hospital, which is where we are now."

The couple had just arrived in Mumbai on the first day of an 11 week holiday which was to have taken them to the UK, Turkey, Vienna and the US.

Coker said he had been lucky.

"A bullet has torn a graze in my jeans and taken a groove out of my thigh and I have a few shrapnel marks including one on my left calf muscle," he said.

Asked whether he or Katie had seen anyone else injured or any of the gunmen, Coker said his girlfriend had the "horror experience" of seeing a girl fall in front of her.

When he had turned back to help Katie, he saw one of the gunmen.

"He had an assault rifle - like an AK47," he said.

"It was automatic fire. It was very loud in the cafe.

"I won't forget seeing that man soon."

Coker said doctors were working to stabilise Ms Anstee. (ANI)

1 comment:

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