Mumbai Blasts: Taj Burning; More pics from terrorist killing

This post is getting too long; See updates from Day Two at: Mumbai Blasts: Day 2

Follow the top level TAB; Mumbai Blasts for links to All related posts.

And, Previously Unseen pics from the 26/11 terrorist attacks.

Sorry, pic heavy post!
Revision ~ 12:15 – 12:30 am Indian Time; Friday Nov 28th
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Posting all pics on FLickr! username “arunshanbhag”

Dome of the Taj is nearly all burn’t out! Only the central post remains; the base of the dome is still burning! TV Cameras are located on diagonally opposite side of Taj and cannot see the dome; TV coverage only shows glow from burning dome! TV is now saying that shots are heard inside the Taj and all the terrorists are NOT YET cleared!

Taj Dome burning

Revision ~ 10:30 – 11:00 pm Indian Time
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OMG! One of the domes of the Taj is on fire; It is burning like a bonfire! I can actually see the structs/frameworks under the tiles in full blaze. OMG! NO! This can’t be happening!
~ Hand held; rested my elbow on the sill!; Sorry for blurry images from ~ 10:45 pm
Taj Hotel Dome Fire


Taj Hotel Dome Fire

My earliest memories of childhood include the Taj!

This morning as I saw smoke billowing from the windows of the Taj, I was composed!
When I heard about my friend’s brother being shot and encountered his wailing family, I was composed!
When I saw blood of the Leopold waiter pooled on the sidewalk with his tray still in the blood, I was composed!

But when I saw the dome of the Taj burning, my heart bleeds! It is all in knots!
I am overwhelmed! Finally tears, … in torrents!
NOW! I am … very, very sad!

I can’t do this!
I can’t watch this!
WIll the Taj be there when I wake up?
How can I sleep! I am scared to walk up to the terrace and look out!
Oh No!

Revision ~ 4:00 – 5:00 pm Indian Time
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I had walked over to the Taj to see what was going on. At the back corner of the Taj, the Firemen stopped the crowd.
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics

At top right you can see the window where fire had broken out in the night/ morning. See pic at the end of the post. Now hardly any smoke. Ditto for another of the windows.
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics, 26/11/ terrorism

Firemen on guard.
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics

Two more with beautiful helmets!
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics

Two firemen discussing their work earlier today.
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics

Onlookers mesmerized by the beauty of the Taj.
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics

A father brought his son to this historic event. What does the future hold for the child? What world will he grow up to?
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics Terrorists, father son

I tried to walk over to the front of the TAJ on Apollo Bunder Road from one of the side streets. We were blocked there too. There juxtaposed with the Gateway of India.
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics

We heard a blast inside the Taj, but could not see anything, so I moved back to my original spot behind the Taj. Here Firemen were still huddling! The Army was in control and these firemen could only proceed once the Army gave the go ahead.
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics

One of the firemen allowed me to take a pic of his beautiful helmet of the Mumbai Fire Dept (MFD). I think Mu-A-d stands for Mumbai Agni Dal (Thanks Parag). This guy was an older gentleman and his was a leather helmet; the others had modern polymer helmets. Beautiful helmet, no?
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics

Several more loud blasts inside; could not see any fire or smoke, but pigeons were flying off and the firemen were on alert; Heard Army choppers buzz by several times. Finally got a pic.
Mumbai Blasts Taj pics

Chappals of one of the victims near the Leopold Cafe! A walk interrupted!
Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe, Mumbai blasts

Revision 12:15 pm Indian Time
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Caution: Gory Pics from scene of Terrorist Killings!

Just got back from a short walk to see my friend. His brother was killed by the terrorists last night. The terrorists started shooting inside/outside the Leopold Cafe;

Steps of the Leopold Cafe: Broken cutlery and glass; and a few blood stains
Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe, Mumbai blasts

Blood dripping from inside the Leopold Cafe and trickling outside!
Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe, Mumbai blasts

Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe, Mumbai blasts, 26/11

Reporters and bystanders collected outside the Leopold Cafe
Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe, Mumbai blasts, 26/11

Police have marked circles on the pavement in front of the Leopold Cafe where bullets/casings were found! Such markings are all over the place.
Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe, Mumbai blasts, 26/11

See SUV still outside with bullet hotes
SUV in front of Leopold Cafe with bullet holes

Reporters interviewing one of the witnesses on the street in front of the Leopold cafe
Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe

After the shooting, people started running inside the lane (Nowroji Lane). Just past the Leopold is a row of shops which my friend and his family own. Here onlookers are looking down the lane towards the Taj.
Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Taj Blast 26/11

A pool of blood in front of my barber shop.
Apparently, one of the waiters from the Leopold who was shot was running (with his round serving tray). He was shot in the head; He fell and died on the street right there. See the chalk circle by the feet of the guy on the extreme right? That is where the police found a bag filled with explosives.
That is where I go for a haircut every week.

Pool of blood of victim from Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

This is so painful – but we should all see these pics and be MAD at the terrorists; Pool of blood of the waiter; He had rushed out of the Leopold with his serving tray, which is still in the pic.
Blood of victim from Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

Pool of blood where another of the victims was shot; four or more victims were within a few feet of each other.
Blood of victim from Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

More blood;
Blood of victim from Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

One of the victim’s chappals still on the road.
Blood of victim from Terrorist Killing Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

I went to visit my friend whose brother was killed in front of this store. On hearing the shots, customers rushed in, and so did his father (who works as a tailor in a neighboring store). The kid ran out to pull the metal shutter down.
Chemist shop where friend was killed outside

He did bring the shutter down (and possibly saved the others inside), but he ended up outside the store. The terrorists were shooting indiscriminately; he caught five bullets; One went through and through his stomach! They operated on him till 5 am when he was pronounced dead. His body is undergoing an autopsy. His family and relatives were wailing loudly when I visited. I could not bear to enter, but called my friend outside to offer my condolences. He leaves behind a wife and two kids.
Family mourning victim of Terrorist Killing near Leopold Cafe Mumbai Blasts

Revision:10:02 am Indian Time
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Even though we are only a block from the Taj Hotel, I slept through the blasts. Woke this morning at 5 to get ready to go for my morning run; Noticed that we had several folks (strangers?) sleeping in our Hall. Did not think much about it and got ready to head out; Then as I was stretching, some of the sleeping folks woke up and I recognized the Managers from the Kamat’s restaurant downstairs. They told me about the blasts and insisted I not go out. Mom woke up and nearly had a fit when she saw me ready to run.

So I took my camera and headed to the Terrace and took a few pics of the Taj Hotel. The hostage situation is still ongoing. I could see smoke billowing out of several windows. Looking down from the front of our house, I notice the main street in front is a staging area for Fire Engines; Also, there are many trucks filled with army type personnel (with guns) and standing patrol. Was terrified to pick up my camera and take pics!

Mom was briefly trapped in the restaurant downstairs as the shooting started at the Leopold Restaurant and the terrorists were roaming the streets shooting people. A few injured people and crowds rushed into the Kamat’s Restaurant to escape the shooting; THe Managers then pulled the shutters shut and my mom remained inside. We are all safe now – more details later.

Pics of the Taj from our terrace; Around 7:15 am (Nov 27th):
Burning Taj Mumbai, terrorists, 26/11, Terrorist Killing

Burning Taj Mumbai, terrorists, 26/11, Terrorist Killing

Will keep updating as I venture out and take more pics. That is if my parents let me get out.

258 thoughts on “Mumbai Blasts: Taj Burning; More pics from terrorist killing

Add yours

  1. tangtey kyon nahin aisey logon ko, palo mat aaur jayada bahoot kharcha hota hai. desh ka

  2. Fellow collegue Mumbai firefighters,

    Since many years I’ve been collecting old leather fire helmets from around the world.
    Recently I saw that the Mumbai fire brigade changed to modern plastic fire helmets.
    Should there be any firefighter who wants to sell his leather fire helmet please contact me.
    (please reply here).
    Thank you in advance.

    Take care,

    guy.cornelisz AT telenet dot be

  3. Thank you John:
    You have a nice site. Will browse more. Yet to find the actual post on the Mumbai blasts. Please provide a direct (link).

    Thanks a lot sir for these pictures,
    we have to show this to all of the indians to let him ask that
    we dont get any results up till now of this rubish activity…

    KASAB IS STILL ALIVE and our people are still suffering……

    our majority can do something for this “i m with u sir”

    thank you
    The pics are really moving.

    But did we realize we have made a mockery of the entire 26/11 episode by submitting to the role of media without questioning it?
    Today the media is the most irresponsible entity wearing the mask of responsibility and the worst part is this mask of responsibility has the social seal unlike the politicians and government officials who are corrupt but better part is everyone (society) knows, understands and acknowledges this.

    The media today is dangerously corrupt and negatively competitive. Such events as 26/11 are actually looked upon as a bonanza by the media who milk public sentiments and emotions to increase their TRP’s and also make money in the process. The reporters will untiringly present an image of bravery by saying how difficult their job is but in reality he/she is only adding up to the difficulty of security forces and also any of us can do this if situation arises (did’nt you notice the huge crowd which was well within the firing range had gathered around nariman house). The worst part is if someone really earned on the blood of the victims , commandos and police of 26/11 its the media.

    The ads never stopped during the live telecast of 26/11 nor did the sms campaigns(these smses cost 5 to 6 rupees per sms) and the worst possible result the Handlers in Pakistan used these live-footages and interviews to their best advantage by informing the terrorists about arrival of NSG, Army and giving them crucial real-time tips that ensured their(terrorists) survival and many more deaths of our innocent civilians and men in uniform (also, making their job more difficult by taking away cover and surprise). Now the media comes up with argument that government shoudn’t have allowed media coverage if it was harmful ,I’m filled with deep-anguish when I hear such explanations as this is a matter of common sense which everyone of us has,and media which is generally master at drawing conclusions out of nothing is now suddenly trying to act like a innocent kid.

    This type of media-behaviour is Anti-national and has helped the terrorists directly ,I can bet that if anyone other else would have done this act of passing live-coverage and information to the terrorist handlers in pakistan He/she would have shared the prison with KASAB by now with serious charges leveled against him/her,but our media got away along with all the blood of 26/11 victims and security men, all the money the earned out of this blood,by providing critical real-time intel to terrorist and also received all the praises for its good work.

    What a tragedy?
    I hope this does not escalate into Indo pak war. They already are blaming each other and some of the media are going along with it. These things have deep roots and they have stemmed from the fact that grave injustices have been done to innocent people just like the one we are are witnessing now and nothing was done about it. As a matter of fact the major powers in the world took part in invoking these injustices. Take Iraq or palestine for example. This has to stop if we really need peace on earth.

    Thank you for the up to the minute reports and I am so sorry to hear about your friend. It sounds like he was a real hero, unlike these cowards who perpetrated this. Our thoughts are with you and everyone there in Mumbai. I will be checking your blog regularly so please take care so that we all have something to read.

  4. Mere
    Pas kehene k liye kuch bhi nahi hae bus nafarat hai jise me dikha bhi nahi sakta un saale kutto ne jo kiya …………..
    kabi kabi dil me to aata hai mujhe ie aisa bomb mil jaye ee baar me poore Pakistan ki ek ko bi na chode.

    Aakhir kya bigada tha hmne unka jo un namak haramo ne aisa kiya …………….?

    Me apni desh ki govt ko phir se yaad dilana chata hoo k ye ek din apni maa ko hi kathm kar denge to phir hum to………..?

    In par trust karke hum bahut badi galati kar ke phir se dhokaha kha lenge is se behtar hai ke unko unhi ki tarah jawab diya jaye.,………….!

  5. Dear Shri Arun,

    Nice coverage on the massacre but one should appreciate your dare too. In fact, I was very much closed to the Taj, but could not see anything because of blocks. Well done and thanks.

    1. Thank you Narresh for your kind words.
      It was a difficult and upsetting time, and particularly being so close to it, I tried very hard to overcome my own fears and get as close as I could to some of the scenes of the tragedy.

      This is something we should never forget.
      Thank you and Best Wishes

  6. i am very sad for this all the terrisist shold be catch fast n shouls be killed then only india could be safe

  7. thanks a lot sir for these pictures,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    we have to show this to all of the indians to let him ask that
    we dont get any results up till now of this rubish activity…

    KASAB IS STILL ALIVE and our people are still suffering……

    our majority can do something for this “i m with u sir”

    thank you

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