European tourists caught up in India’s Mumbai terror attacks have started making their way back home.
There was both joy and tears as around 60 Spanish passengers touched down in a government-chartered flight to Madrid.
Relieved to be back safely, some described what they had experienced.
‘‘When we got there, the Taj Mahal hotel was all in smoke. We quickly left and had to go to another hotel. We were hiding there all the time without going out much. The streets were deserted, you could not get internet connection, nothing. So, in the end we contacted the embassy and they told us that they had organised a flight for Spanish citizens, and here we are,’‘ said a female passenger.
Grateful to be unharmed, another passenger described the chaos as people attempted to flee Mumbai.
‘‘The airport was full of people trying to get out to different countries. Nobody knew what was going on. And, having a plane from your country that welcomes you and gets you out, not everyone could do that, we are privileged,’‘ he said.
In Frankfurt, German tourists who had also escaped the attacks recalled their own ordeal.
“India was a relatively interesting experience, seeing the situation there. Whether the policemen are sitting in front of the hotel or not, it does not matter. Any security firm here would do it more professionally,’‘ said a returning German tourist.
Numerous westerners still remain stranded in hospitals in Mumbai.
At least 17 foreign tourists, including one Briton, are thought to have been killed in the attacks.