Kabul blasts: 2 city students recount horrific experience

Romario (L) and Siddanth, (R)two students from Bengaluru who were at Afghanistan when the blasts took place.

For two city students, April 29 will remain etched in their memory. It is the day they survived two deadly blasts in a span of an hour.  

The students—Siddhant Kishore and Romario Norman — of Christ, escaped the blasts that ripped through Kabul, killing at least 29 people, including journalists, by a whisker . 

They were in Kabul, Afghanistan for the Elbe Ariana International Model United Nations (EAIMUN), an international MUN, from April 26 to 29.

Students from various countries, including Russia, China, Germany, France and Pakistan among others, participated in the MUN.

On their return to India, the two students spoke to DH about the agony that they witnessed in Kabul.

On April 29, Kishore and Norman were at their rooms in Hotel Safi landmark, a place that was three km from the site of the first blast.

As soon as the news of the blast broke, the duo wasted no time planning the schedule for the day. “We did not want to stay there and started making preparations to fly back,” said Romario. Soon, they headed to the Indian Embassy hoping for some support. “The embassy was closed when we reached there. We could not do much,” he added.

Just as the two boys were running from pillar to post, they heard a thunderous blast. “The second blast went off within an hour of the first one. This time, we were less than a kilometre away from the site of the blast,” said Siddhant.

After the second blast, they quickly headed back to the hotel that they were staying in. They were escorted to a safe room in the hotel.

“The hotel had a safe room on every single floor. The door of the safe room looks like every other room from the outside but it is covered by an 11-inch bulletproof panel on the other side of the door. This safe room could accommodate around 45-50 people,” explained Siddhant.

The rooms also had enough food to last them for nearly two months. “To be in the hotel room and knowing that you might get killed if you go out is a feeling and a situation that no one should live in,” said Romario.

The two of them were here for close to an hour. “At about 4 pm we decided that it would be very dangerous if we stayed back any longer and left for Qurgah which is 15 km from Kabul and returned to the hotel late in the night to fetch our luggage,” said Romario.
“It was an experience that cannot be put into words,” he added.

For locals, however, this did not bring a lot of shock according to the duo. They said that the locals appeared to have accepted this as a way of life.
Siddhant said, “Every single face has a story to tell. They are so used to the trauma that they have accepted their fate and are not surprised by the blood on the streets.”

The two reached Delhi on Tuesday by themselves.

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Kabul blasts: 2 city students recount horrific experience

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