Today was one of those rare days when I managed to get off work before 6p.m and I was mentally making a check list of all things I would do this evening. The first news on the radio said there was a loud explosion in Nugegoda but the chirpy DJ lass said quite nonchalantly — now don’t panic and we will give you more information. Traffic was moving as usual but there were no news update — so I pulled on to a side and called a journalist friend — she knew a bit more — it was outside the “Nolimit” the popular department store but she was still scrambling to get her story together.
The ambulances whizzed passed wailing and was joined by the fire engines. Calling another friend, I found that the roads were blocked and it was safe to stay away for a while or take alternate routes. Taking a side road, I realised that it was a futile exercise to try to get home. So I turned back and went to my cousin Lucky and Christine’s.
The first bomb today had gone off close to their house in Fife Road but they didn’t know about this one. Switching on the news murky wobbly pictures were coming on — unedited raw footage of TV crew trying to interview eye witnesses,– the words came out fast and sometimes jumbled and one man kept turning towards the bomb site as if he had to see it to believe it.
More news reports showing blood splattered pavements — 16 dead about forty injured. There were more injured — someone’s mum, wife, daughter I thought. Phone lines were jammed as I tried to contact colleagues to find out if they were safe.
It is past 11 pm now and I came home a little while ago. Nugegoda is calm and traffic is now moving smoothly. Although not many vehicles were around. I just couldn’t resist going around to ground zero. The street in front of the popular department store closest to where the bomb went off is cornered off and Police are guarding it — but the twisted metal front, the hollow of a shop, the burnt remnants of a motor bike, shattered glass etc were visible in the dim street lights. This only indicates what a powerful bomb it was. Beyond the barrier the police didn’t worry too much about people stopping to watch but I didn’t have the camera with me to take photos
Schools have been closed for two days. There is some concern whether this will be a start of a string of such attacks. …