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Foreigners scared & shaken

Tourists from Japan, Italy, China cut short travel plans.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2010 23:52 IST

Tuesday's blast was the second that Spanish national Wgoam experienced in Varanasi.

He was at the city's Cantonment Station in March 2006 at the time of the explosion at Sankat Mochan Temple.

"I am just speechless," he said, adding, "I don't know who to blame - my luck or anyone else".

Chihiro Sato, a young Japanese woman who was injured in the back and ear, told HT: "This land is truly beautiful, but I cannot stay here for long. I'm cancelling my plans for Kolkata and Pushkar and returning to my mother in Japan."

She was discharged from hospital in the afternoon.

Though a sense of eternity in this ancient town attracts foreigners, some of them are now so scared that they don't want to visit Varanasi again.

Elisa Pini and Gabriele Buffagni from Italy, who came to Varanasi for the first time, shared their feelings with HT on Wednesday: "We will leave Varanasi today. We were in a guesthouse during the blast. The whole building shook. We are really scared."

Chang (name changed), a software engineer in China, said, "This is my first and last visit to Varanasi. I heard this is the second time this sort of an incident has happened here. I don't feel I am safe in Varanasi. I will leave the city tomorrow morning."

Spanish couple Centonia and Joe, who were present at the ghat at the time of the blast, are leaving on Thursday.

"We were enjoying the Ganga Aarti. Suddenly, there was a big sound followed by smoke. Everyone was running helter-skelter. We lost our way at that time and were screaming for help. Policemen came to the spot after half an hour. No one was helping us. Anyhow we managed to enter a street and an old man guided us out."