Hotel Staff Emerge As Heroes in Mumbai Attacks

November 28, 2008

Mumbai (ChattahBox) — Kanda Noroyaki, a Chef at the Japanese restaurant at the Taj, led guests to safety as they went trembling and screaming across the hotel. Another unnamed hotel maintenance staff was shot as he ushered guests into a service car and helped them reach a safe spot. The tales of such unnamed heroes are echoing throughout Mumbai and every guest at the hotels has stories to tell about each staff member who hid, shielded or evacuated their wealthy guests to safe spots.

Hotel staffs are familiar with every nook and corner of the hotel area. They also know the short cuts to safety and emergency exits as well. One of the guests at the Taj Hotel told Reuters, “Just imagine, they even served us food the first few hours. Only when the kitchens became out of bounds did they express regret for not being able to serve us food.”

One of the guests recalled how the hotel staff prevented them to rush to the lobby where they could have been shot dead instantly. “They were brilliant,” Bhisham Mansukhani told the Mail Today. “If they hadn’t kept their cool, many more lives would have been lost.”

Attacks on Mumbai came at the peak tourist season in India. The terrorist attacks have struck at the heart of the Indian tourist industry compounding problems for the airlines and the hotels who have already been facing tough times.

The military operations are still going on in the city even after 36 hours of the first attack. Indian commandos have staged a fresh helicopter raid on the Jewish center where Israeli nationals are expected to have been held as hostages. Overall 143 people have been reported as dead and hundreds others as wounded.

President George Bush has condemned the attacks and has called up Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convey his sympathy for the victims and offer necessary help.

A team of FBI bomb and forensics experts left Los Angeles last night for Mumbai to help with the investigation, even as analysts around the world were debating whether the gunmen – described as young and ordinary – could have been linked to Al Qaeda.


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