'Thank God, I Didn't Go for Breakfast': How Kolkata Firm's Worker Ditched Death at Colombo Hotel Blast
Kolkata: When Sri Lankans woke up to a series of explosions on Easter Sunday, miles away in Kolkata, Jugal Kishore Khetawat was desperately making calls to inquire about his employees in the island country.
Khetawat is the founder chairman of Rameswara Group Enterprise, which has entered the infrastructure sector in Colombo. Speaking to News18, the entrepreneur said that one of his project managers was staying at Shangri-La Hotel when the explosion occurred.
Chelvadurai Harendran, who is supervising the group's Colombo project, said, "I was supposed to go to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast. But today, I just didn't feel like. I decided to have it in the lounge. After finishing my meal, I went to the room to take my medicines. And it is then that the explosions occurred. It was deafening."
Khetawat extend his "heartfelt condolences" to those who were killed in the explosion.
The group's residential-cum-commercial project, 'Altair', is under-construction by Indocean Developers — a firm of six conglomerates mostly from Kolkata. Khetawat is one of the directors of the project. At 240 metres, it is said to be one of the tallest buildings in the country's capital once completed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condemned the blast and said that there was "no place for such barbarism in our region". "India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured," he said.
Religious and world leaders have condemned a series of blasts in Sri Lanka that killed more than 200 people on Sunday, including dozens of foreigners — with British, Dutch and American citizens believed to be among them.