4th Dec, 2016

Businessman caught up in Turkish terror attack

Stratford Editorial 29th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A BUSINESSMAN caught up in the Turkish terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport has spoken of the “mass panic” he witnessed.

Warwick resident Bernie De Souza arrived in the terminal just minutes after the shootings and bombings – believed to have been carried out by so-called Islamic State – which have so far claimed the lives of at least 41 people and left some 230 wounded.

The motivational business coach, who was en route to speak in Hong Kong, told The Observer: “I arrived just minutes after the bombing and shooting.

“There was mass panic, and I saw people running in all directions. Medics were wheeling away injured people on stretchers,¬†and the bodies of those who had been killed.

“Some people had blood on them, and some were covered, and sadly I presume were dead. I saw a couple sitting alive but covered in blood.

Mr De Souza could have been caught in the middle of the attack, which took place at the airport’s Arrivals building, had his flight not been delayed.

He added: “I am so grateful my flight was delayed in England by 30 minutes or I would have been in the building the exact time of the bombing.”

Mr De Souza is currently waiting for his onward flight to be rescheduled and is at the airport where hundreds of other stranded passengers are having to sleep on the floor.

The three attackers had been trying to pass through X-ray machines on Tuesday evening when they were stopped by Turkish security officials.

A firefight with security guards broke out in the terminal after the terrorists began shooting with AK-47 rifles.

The gunmen are believed to have detonated suicide bombs. All three have been reported to have died.