‘Little did Richardson know that a suicide bomber was standing in basement’: ICC official relives horror of Sri Lanka’s Easter bombings – cricket

On at the present time final yr, ICC Anti-Corruption council officer Steve Richardson selected to eat breakfast in the chief lounge on the ninth ground of Cinnamon Grand as a substitute of heading all the way down to restaurant, a resolution that saved him from the Easter Bombings.

Richardson, who was in the nation alongside together with his colleagues to analyze corruption prices in opposition to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), was staying on the ninth ground of the lodge in Colombo, one of the six areas the place bombs went off in a sequence of blasts, killing and injuring tons of of individuals throughout the nation.

“We were in Sri Lanka doing follow-up inquiries on a long-running investigation into Sri Lanka cricket,” Richardson was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.

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‘We sat down for breakfast and I said, ‘Oh blimey, here we go again. Another hotel breakfast’. It does get a bit similar when you could have stayed in the identical place for weeks, so we talked about going to the breakfast room downstairs. I made a decision to not as a result of it might get very busy, with lengthy queues.

“Little did Richardson know that a suicide bomber was standing in on the Taprobane restaurant in the basement, able to activate a blast.

“I acquired as much as get some meals and was strolling again to the desk when there was a large explosion. It shook the constructing. A mushroom cloud got here up.”

“The explosion was right below us and I looked out the window and I could see the swimming pool attendant was getting up holding his ears.”

What adopted was chaos and Richardson simply hoped the constructing was robust sufficient to face up to the explosion.

“Another woman was getting up and ran off to pick up her handbag. She had been blown off her feet.”

“One factor we had been involved about was that the explosion was so large it would convey the constructing down. You hope the constructing will keep structurally secure, however my thoughts went again to 9/11.

“He recalled how the individuals injured had been being despatched to hospitals in rickshaws and vehicles and no matter transport was out there at that level of time.

“They then opened the rear entrance to the lodge and the workers had been flagging down tuk-tuks and vehicles to remove the injured. I noticed only one ambulance. People had been carried into tuk-tuks and the vehicles. Some had been unconscious or lifeless.”

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Richardson reached out to his workplace in Dubai, skimming by social media to seek out out what was taking place.

“About 10 minutes later I messaged my workplace in Dubai. They began monitoring the information and shortly informed us there have been incidents at church buildings in Colombo.

“I noticed on social media there had been an explosion on the Shangri-La Hotel, which is the place the England group keep on excursions to Sri Lanka. It was apparent it was coordinated terrorist assaults.”Richardson and his colleagues had been evacuated and the group left for the airport earlier than a curfew was imposed.

“We went back to our rooms, grabbed our passports and phones. After about 20 minutes we were evacuated.”

“There was a curfew implemented at 4pm. We left the hotel before the curfew and got to the airport. They were not allowing anybody in the terminal. It was chaos.”

A former Metropolitan Police detective superintendent, Richardson mentioned the police coaching helped him stay calm in the state of affairs.

“It was fairly an unimaginable expertise. A little bit bit shut, however we had been among the many fortunate ones to have gotten out.

“The police coaching helped solely in as a lot as we knew to not panic. Don’t grow to be half of the issue; comply with the directions of the workers.”

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