Mumbai Blasts: Day 3, Mop Up at the Taj

Continued from
Mumbai Blasts: Day 2
Mumbai Blasts: Day 1

Picture Update from ~ 9:15 am Indian Time; Saturday Nov 29th
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Pics on FLickr! username “shanbhag”

Not to be deterred, I took a detour and reached the front of the Taj. I was on the sea face looking at the front of the Taj from its right!

Firemen had hoisted ladders and were climbing into the first floor

Police trying to provide a security cordon!

MORE Pics!

Cherry picker had docked on third floor window and firemen entered.

Water for the fire fighting came from the sea! Notice the Staging Area in front of the Gateway of India; I was on the other side last night!

Another Cherrypicker docked on second floor; Note there are at least four ladders reaching the first floor and I saw about 20 firemen climb in!

A policeman taking a moment to rest his eyes!

All appeared relaxed; Then at about 10:15 am, there were two huge blasts inside the Taj; Withing minutes about 12-15 of the firemen scampered out of the windows and down the ladders. Rumor on the street was there was a wounded terrorist running around and the forces were trying to blast him. The Police said forces were defusing bombs or possible bobbytraps.

Then several ambulances rushed to the from entrance of the Main Taj and reversed towards the front door! I saw folks taking several stretchers in. Here you also notice some medical personnel returning to the Ambulance on the right.

Beautiful Navy helicopter circled in front of the Taj; I took this as a mark of respect to the Queen of Mumbai!

Another of the Helicopter! Machine gun at the ready!

See Firemen rolling their hoses in front of the Taj; To me this was clear indication that the operation was complete!

Another Attack helicopter came up to check things out!

I befriended a couple of Police Officers who escorted me closer; Any closer they would have drafted me into the Services! Amazing how many doors a little bit of heavily accented Marathi can open! Ambulances still waiting outside! I had to leave!

Here are Officers Bhangale and Officer Tupe! Jaihind!

Picture Update from ~ 7:30 am Indian Time; Saturday Nov 29th
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We woke to good news in Mumbai! The operations were nearly over! The Taj operation was near complete.
Newspapers on Sale

The street next to our House leading to the Taj was still blocked by Fire Engines; Smoke from the fires and fog from the water, created an ethereal site; and belied the tragedy.
(click for larger image)
Street leading to the Taj

Another. Some of the fire engines were moving out. I loved these two pics!
(click for larger image)

Street leading to the Taj

My path leading to the Taj was blocked from this other side as well; The commandos guarding did not even let me approach their positions! 😦
Street leading to the Taj

14 thoughts on “Mumbai Blasts: Day 3, Mop Up at the Taj

Add yours

  1. It is impossible to understand the terrorist’s reasoning for such horrendous acts they act out upon innocent people. What sick warped monsters do this sort of thing and for what gain….for what evil cause??? I can see nothing good they have accomplished because of their actions. I hope the world will come together to end this terrible scourge. I grew up going in and out of the Taj..I have always thought of it as “my Taj” heart bleeds along with all the bloodshed. Thankyou for sharing these photographs..Zee.

  2. hi arun

    got to see the pictures, and a sense of how things unfolded.

    you are a “citizen journo” quoted by NY Times, cool!

  3. You will find it hard to believe, but I am a Pakistani and was forwarded the pictures by a friend in America and it brought tears to my eyes.

    I hope people would understand that common Pakistanis have great sadness and empathy for what happened in Mumbai, more so because we have faced this often ourselves and know its consequences.

    Thank you for sharing the pictures with wider audence

    A Parsi from

  4. When will we Hindustani wake up? How many innocent people will get killed by Muslim Terrorist before our corrupt government start protecting its people?
    Why can’t we have an uprising similar to USA?
    I say ‘NO MORE’ and start electing people that will deliver a safer India.
    Enroll young energetic people who can react quickly and have them ready in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Trivendram and Ahmedabad.
    We can support full time 250-500people at all of this location full time and provide latest equipment and training.
    We should have a National Figure in charge to run all these centers and be Independent and only answerable to Parliament and not any government.
    Wake Up my Bharat.

  5. Thank you for sharing your firsthand account. I learned of your blog from the NY Times article on citizen journalists. I have linked to your blog and provided some of my own commentary from my site for others to hopefully read your account.

    As I look at your posts prior to these from Mumbai in contrast with these posts, I bet even you are in astonishment about how quickly your life can become so different. I hope the rest of your trip is met with safe travels and as restful of a night that you can get under the circumstances.

    I noticed you were able to get so close on many of your photos. How was the security presence for onlookers over the days during the attack? Did you feel safe walking around?

  6. Arun,

    I am a blogger with – we want to confirm for a post about your blogging that you are the same Arun Shanbhag who has left comments on our site in the past on exercise and movies. If so, or if not, please write to me ASAP to confirm so we can publish our post on your blogging and link to you.

    Best, Rob Mackey

  7. The pictures were moving and brought back fond memories of when we visited the monument of Gate way of India and the pride of the south bombay decades ago ! Let us all hope this unfortunate event teaches all and most of all the law enforcing agencies and Indian goverment how to deal with such incidences , since these are bound to happen where will they put metal detectors to find such radically motivated assasins .

    From Arun:
    Thank you Seema: I think in this whole tragedy, the politicians in mumbai and india came across as the most greedy and clueless. Hope we get fresh blood to shake things up.

  8. Hey Arun,
    A great relief that the Operation is finally over. We really hope that strict measures will be taken by the government to prevent such incidents in the future.
    The pics that you have provided us gave a clear image about the present situation. Hope the spirit of Mumbai returns soon! Take care!

    From Arun:
    Thank you Ujwal for your thoughts. Yes, Mumbai is bouncing back and over the last few days, the memories of the siege appear to have receded in the people’s mind.

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