Taj Palace Nearly Destroyed in Mumbai Terrorist Attacks
Just before we left for Thanksgiving vacation, reports were coming out of Mumbai about terrorist attacks on city including attacks on two of the most popular luxury hotels---The Oberoi Hotel and The Taj Palace Hotel.
At the Taj, the gunmen broke in room after room and shot occupants at point-blank range. Some were shot in the back. At the Oberoi Hotel, the second luxury hotel to be attacked, one gunman chased diners up a stairwell and at one point turned around and shot dead an elderly man standing behind him.
When the three-day siege on Mumbai was over, 183 people had been killed. The final gunbattle between the terrorists and Indian commandos actually went down at the Taj inside the hotel's restaurant. As this photo from the NY Times demonstrates, you can see how hard the Taj was hit. Much of the hotel's lower floors were also on fire and it has been reported that the top floor is gutted.
Over at the Oberoi, attackers continued their deadly assault, killing two Americans. 30 bodies were recovered from the scene including those of two gunmen but 93 foreigners were rescued. A report from men who huddled in room 2324 for nearly two days was given to the NY Times here.
As you can imagine both the Taj and the Oberoi are closed for now. The owner of the Taj Hotel recently gave an interview with CNN in which he spoke about the hotel's extensive damage but vowed that the Taj will be stand again.
[Photo: NY Times]