Sri Lanka terror: Dad loses whole family
A BLOODSOAKED British dad desperately "wandered alone" through Colombo morgues as he tried to find his wife and children - before being told they were dead.
Lawyer Ben Nicholson walked the streets of the Sri Lankan capital and tragically searched hospitals for any sign of his family after they were caught up in a terror attack yesterday.
According to The Sun, Anita Nicholson, 42, her son Alex, 11, and daughter Annabel were among the 290 killed in co-ordinated 'ISIS-inspired' terror assaults at churches and hotels in the country on Easter Sunday.
Following the bombings which have rocked Sri Lanka, police have found 87 detonators at a bus station today.
Speaking with The Times, a lawyer said that father Ben found his son Alex's dead body at a mortuary after frantically searching for his loved ones.
Pushpa Zoysa, in charge of the emergency triage at the National Hospital in Colombo, told the MailOnline: "I saw him covered in blood like this, walking up and down just there.
"He spoke to me twice, asking about his family. He had blood all over him but he was not injured, apart from a small cut to his ear.
"He was not running or crying, he was shocked. We wondered whether he was confused but he seemed in control. He just kept asking about his family members.
"He was walking around completely alone and I feel sorry for him but there were so many dead and dying people here, I didn't have time to speak to him more. Eventually he left."
Shakya Wickramanayake, a supreme court lawyer, said that her dad and a family friend helped the distraught British father scour Colombo for his son.
She said: "The sister and mother were found dead before we met Mr Nicholson.
"Alex was found in the police mortuary mid-afternoon."
AP reports that "mercifully, all three of them died instantly and with no pain or suffering." Mr Nicholson says the family was on a vacation. He thanked medical teams at General Hospital in Colombo for their help and asked for privacy so he could grieve with his extended family.
Anita and her two kids had been queuing for breakfast in the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo, when a terrorist - who checked in under a false address and name Mohamed Azzam Mohamed - joined the line at 8.30am before detonating his bomb before being served.
Ben is not believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries and was last seen with his ear plastered at the capital's Judicial Medical Office, the Telegraph reports.
He is said to be "completely in shock" after losing his entire family.
Last night a relative in Essex said: "It's all still very raw."
Ben and Anita both worked in Singapore as lawyers, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
The father-of-two is believed to be a partner in the Singapore branch of Kennedys Legal Solutions while his late-wife last worked for mining and metals company Anglo American.
According to her profile, Anita previously worked for HM Treasury in London and oil giant BP.
This morning, Manisha Gunasekera, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, said eight Britons were killed in the bomb attacks.
Speaking to the BBC, she said: "As of now I think there is information on eight nationals who have lost their lives and the other numbers are of other nationals."
The Sri Lankan government has named local Jihadi terror group National Thowheeth Jama'ath as being responsible for the horrific attacks.
But one British family cheated death, even as they were caught up in the atrocity as their hotel became a target for the terror.
Dr Julian Emmanuel, 48, an NHS doctor from Surrey, his wife Maria, 39, and their young children Jasintha and Neethan were staying at the Cinnamon Grand when they were woken by the blast.
Luckily, they had decided to have a sleep-in rather than get up early for breakfast, where the bomber detonated his suicide vest in the restaurant.
Dr Emmanuel told the Sun: "We were in our room and heard a large explosion.
"I came out of the room to see what's happening.
"We were rushed downstairs. Staff told us there had been a bomb that had exploded in the restaurant in the basement.
"We were outside for hours and saw casualties being taken away.
"We saw someone who had an almost severed arm - there were shocked children covered in dust.
"One of the staff told me there had been a suicide bomber because he saw a decapitated body.
"The staff at the hotel lost two or three of their colleagues.
"My children and wife are traumatised by what they saw today. We will never forget this.
"We will always remember Easter Sunday for this reason now."
This story first appeared in The Sun and is republished with permission.