A British teenage brother and sister escaped from one of the Sri Lankan terror movements that were killed for just a second, it was revealed last night.
Daniel Linsey, 19 and his younger sister Amelie, 15, had breakfast with their father Matthew at the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo for their flight home.
The teenagers somehow survived a suicide attack among the guests, including many tourists. But they died a little later when a second bomber struck while trying to escape the massacre.
They were massacred among nearly 300 people – including six British – after suicide bombers pruned tourists and mass worshipers on the Sunday of Easter, including dozens of children.
Amelie Linsey, 15, left, and brother Daniel, 19, right, were in the dining room of the Shangri-La hotel in Columbo when a bomber struck but escaped, only to be killed a second later by the explosion of a second terrorist
Last night the island was in a state of emergency after the explosions. In other developments:
- British father Ben Nicholson confirmed that he had lost his entire family during the attacks. His wife Anita, 42 and their children Alex, 14, and Annabel, 11, were killed when they ate breakfast;
- Asos billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen lost three of his four children during the holidays while on vacation with his wife;
- Senior Sri Lankan officials were repeatedly warned for three years that an attack would take place – but nothing was done because of political power struggles;
- The fear grew that there were more explosives on the streets after the police found 87 igniters and a pipe bomb filled with 110lb explosives – big enough to cause a 400-yard radius;
- A video of alleged front runner Moulvi Zahran Hashim was released that threatens against & # 39; unbelievers & # 39; with a Union Jack in the background.
The ruined Mr. Linsey, 63, an American fund manager, returned to the parental home in central London yesterday to stay with his British wife Angelina, 51, and his two other sons – aged 12 and 21 – to be on vacation.
David Linsey (21) told the family that the family was on the last day of their Easter vacation: & They would fly home that day and had breakfast when the first bomb went off.
Amelie Linsey during a recent trip to Vietnam. She was killed at the age of 15 during the Easter Sunday terrorist attack in Sri Lanka, killing 300, including eight British
Londoner Matthew Linsey, pictured several years ago with his children Daniel and Ameli, both of whom were murdered on Easter Sunday
& # 39; My father said they were all involved in a second explosion when they tried to escape. Both my brother and sister were immediately unconscious and were taken to the hospital, but they never woke up. My father is shocked and hasn't said much else. He tries to be strong for my little brother who is 12 and my mother. & # 39;
It is said that Linsey had shattered grenades in his face and that he was comforted by family members in the family home yesterday. The Oxford graduate described how his father initially hoped that Amelie had survived the impact of the blast because she had no major visible injuries.
& # 39; Initially, they did not think Amélie was badly wounded because there were no obvious wounds. Someone else took her to the hospital, but she must have been internally injured.
& # 39; I think they both died immediately because they never woke up. We can't believe this happened. I cannot describe how devastating it is. You don't think it will happen to you. We have missed them so many times, & he said. The devastated brother said the family decided not to watch the news and that they were not ready to hear emerging questions about security blunders that could have prevented the deadly attacks.
He said that the three traveled around Asia during the Easter period and traveled to Vietnam before arriving in Sri Lanka a few days before the tragedy. He said: & # 39; They were very enthusiastic about it. It would be a nice Easter holiday and they would spend time with my father.
Ben Nicholson lost his wife Anita, 42 and their children Alex, 14, and Annabel, 11, who were killed during breakfast
& # 39; Daniel had always wanted to go to Sri Lanka and they had seen the elephants. & # 39;
He said that his brother, who was ready to get his A levels, & # 39; gladly traveled & # 39; and was planning to go to college to study tourism.
While Amelie, who was a student at the independent Godolphin and Latymer School, allegedly loved caring for the family despite her young age. He said: & # 39; My sister was so loving, she was the center of the family and kept us all together and my brother was one of the nicest people you could imagine. & # 39;
The brothers and sisters were killed among 291 people in the atrocities that more than 500 were injured.
Many visitors have already left Sri Lanka, a popular holiday destination for British and other Western tourists. Shops and restaurants closed their shutters and cars & # 39; s remained mostly busy roads because the government imposed a strict curfew.
Social media sites were closed to prevent the local population from causing panic with unfounded rumors.
A blood-splashed statue of Jesus Christ is depicted while crime scene officials inspect the site of a bomb explosion while the sun shines through the blown roof inside the Saint Sebastian church in Negombo
Sri Lankan military guard near the explosion site at a church in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
Hospital staff pushing a trolley with a victim after a blast in a church in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said researchers investigate the perpetrators of the & # 39; terrorist & # 39; have identified attacks (photo: Shangri La hotel, Colombo)
The police and the army were also given the draconian powers of Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena to detain and question suspects without judicial orders. Chaos unfolded on Easter Sunday morning when coordinated blasts tore through churches and luxury hotels carried out by seven suicide bombers from a militant group called National Thowheed Jamaath.
Two of the bombers blew themselves up at the Shangri-La Hotel on the coast of Colombo. Others focused on three churches and two hotels. Images of a bomber carrying a rucksack wandering in a church just before the blast occurred yesterday.
A fourth hotel and a house on the outskirts of Colombo were also hit, but it was not immediately clear how those attacks were carried out.
A large bomb mined on an access road to the international airport late on Sunday, and another bomb exploded in a van before experts could carry out a controlled explosion. Three police officers were killed by two suicide bombers who exploded their vest when their house was raided. A bomber was a woman who was married to one of the Shangri-La Hotel's attackers.
Officials said that nine suspects were detained yesterday – seven Muslims, one of the Sinhalese and one Tamil. Two women died in an explosion in a safe house in connection with the unnamed suicide bomber who died in the Shangri-La Hotel. They are supposed to be his wife and sister.
Julian Emmanuel, 48, a NHS physician from Surrey, was with his family at the Cinammon Grand hotel and was in bed when an explosion tore through his restaurant. He said: & # 39; We saw someone with an almost severed arm – there were shocked children covered in dust. It was all very traumatic. We will never forget this. & # 39;
An Australian survivor of the attack, identified only as Sam, described the scene as & # 39; absolute massacre & # 39 ;. He said that he and a travel partner had breakfast at the Shangri-La when two explosions ended. He said he had seen two men carrying backpacks seconds before the blast.
Security forces inspect the Sanctuary of St. Anthony after an explosion in the St. Anthony Church in Kochchikade in Colombo
A map showing where the eight explosions ended, six of them very quickly in succession on Easter Sunday morning
& # 39; There were screaming people everywhere and corpses around & # 39 ;, he said. & # 39; Children cry, children on the floor, I don't know if they were dead or not, just crazy. & # 39; Doctors said the terrorists inspired by the Islamic state filled the bombs with ball bearings and other pieces of metal to cause maximum damage.
Some victims suffered such horrific injuries that identifying their bodies could take some time.
Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said an international network was involved but did not work out. Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said that those responsible for the atrocities were religious extremists, but no group claimed responsibility. The bombings represent the deadliest violence in Sri Lanka since a devastating civil war ended a decade ago on the island.
The queen joined world leaders by offering her condolences in the aftermath of the terror attack, and paid tribute to the medical and emergency services that helped.
Scotland Yard said it is constantly monitoring the threats to Britain & # 39; including to places of worship. The FBI and Interpol assist the investigation.