Rescuers search hotel debris; sleuths look for clues

Updated on Sep 21, 2008 12:13 PM IST

At least four more charred bodies were brought out of the gutted Marriott Hotel as rescuers searched the remains of the smouldering building.

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HT Image
PTI | By, Islamabad

At least four more charred bodies were on Sunday brought out of the gutted five-star Marriott Hotel as rescuers searched the remains of the smouldering building, a day after the massive suicide truck bombing killed 60 people including an American in the Pakistani capital.

The massive blast on Saturday night, in which officials said about 1,000 kilograms of explosives were used, ruptured gas pipelines and triggered a fire that rapidly spread through the five-storey 290-room hotel, which was popular among foreigners.

The blaze was brought under control by fire fighters about 13 hours after the suicide bomber struck at 8 pm last night, when the hotel was packed with Muslims who had gathered for the traditional 'Iftaar' meal after another day of fasting during the holy month of Ramzaan. At least four bodies were pulled out of the building this morning. Officials at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences said an American national was among those who died.

The explosion and the fire injured 260 people, including over 20 foreigners. A Danish diplomat, several Americans and Britons, three or four Germans and two Saudi nationals were among the injured.
Rescue efforts at the hotel were hampered by rains this morning and the high temperature within the blackened and smouldering building. Smoke continued to waft out of several rooms of the structure long after the blaze was brought under control.

The army joined rescue workers at the site to clear the rubble and to search the building. Officials said it was feared that some more bodies could still be trapped in the rooms on the upper floors of the luxury hotel.

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