When South African commando Zane Wilmans heard the first explosions of the 26/11 terror attack three years ago, the only weapon he had on him was a dinner knife. He was at the Taj Palace Hotel with six other security personnel on an assignment to guard the cricketers that had come to Mumbai for the Champions League tournament.
"At first, we thought it was just a stray firecracker, but then we heard the fire alarm go off and saw people running and screaming. We immediately realised it was far worse than that," said Wilmans, while addressing the students of Jamnabai Narsee School, Juhu, on Thursday. "As soon as we heard the explosions, we grabbed the knives, ushered people into a nearby conference room, and barricaded it."
There were 150 people in that conference room who heard gunshots and people screaming for the next five hours till the police escorted them out safely.
"It is important to be proactive rather than reactive. You should look to prevent an unsafe situation rather than react to a crisis," said Wilmans, who gave tips on personal and community safety to the students.