Sri Lanka bus blast: harrowing experience

April 25, 2008 (LBO) – The driver of a bus caught in a deadly explosion that left at least 23 dead said the bomb went off towards centre or back of the bus, just as he was pulling out of the the station. Driver K D Ananda Ratnasiri of the Kesbewa bus depot, who escaped with minor injuries said his bus was traveling to Kahapola from Piliyandala town.

“I pulled out the Piliyandala bus stand at around 6.42 pm. The bus traveled about ten meters and I heard a loud explosion,” Ratnasiri told LBO by phone from the hospital.

“The bomb went off in the centre of the house or the back. I looked and saw injured people and bodies.

“I climbed out. My head hurts. I do not know what happened to the conductor. I manage to walk out of the bus.

“But the roof above my seat blew off from the explosion.”

Ratnasiri was treated at the Kalubowila hospital.

An LBO correspondent at the Kalubowila hospital said at least 12 dead bodies had been brought to hospital and more than 30 were injured.

Police said at least 16 people had died in the explosion so far. More casualties had been admitted to the Piliyandala hospital.