Tour operators are reorganising Indian itineraries in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks on Wednesday.
Two hotels, the Taj Mahal Palace and the Oberoi Trident, were attacked by terrorists targeting British and American nationals. The Foreign Office has confirmed one British national has been killed in the attacks. It also confirmed a number of British people are affected with some injured in hospitals in the city, although it would not give any numbers.
The two hotels were this morning surrounded by Indian security forces where terror militants were holding guests hostage.
A fire later broke out at the Taj Mahal Palace and reports claim the security forces are searching the property for survivors. It is believed about 200 hostages are still being held at the Oberoi Trident.
More than 100 people are thought to have been killed and more than 300 injured in the seven attacks in tourist areas and the business district.
Cox and Kings confirmed it had two clients staying at the Taj Mahal Palace who escaped the building this morning. Their repatriation to the UK is being organised by the British High Commission.
Cox and Kings director Philip Hamilton-Grierson said: “Cox and Kings is deeply shocked by the events in Mumbai overnight and our thoughts are with all those affected by these atrocities.
“We are very thankful that our own clients have been safely accounted for.
“Mumbai is not one of the major tourist centres in India and although some of our clients pass through Mumbai en route to other destinations, relatively few actually stay in the city.”
Transindus had three clients in the Taj Mahal hotel. One single traveller evacuated the hotel this morning and is now on a flight home. The other couple were on the 6th floor which was on fire and were rescued by the Indian Fire service.
TransIndus sales manager Neil Sealy said they were concerned about their clients overnight. He said: “They had nothing but praise for the hotel staff and local services who helped them.”
Somak Holidays had 20 clients in Mumbai and all have been confirmed as safe and are continuing with their holidays.
Bales Worldwide is rescheduling the itineraries of its handful of clients who were due to fly into the city this week.
Foreign secretary David Miliband said: “Today’s attacks in Mumbai which have claimed many innocent victims remind us, yet again, of the threat we face from violent extremists. I condemn these attacks unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those killed and injured.”
The Foreign Office is advising people in the area to seek local advice from their hotels as to whether they can safely reach the airport and board flights out of Mumbai. It has issued an emergency number for people with relatives in Mumbai on 020 7008 0000.
- Indian PM vows action on attacks [BBC]
- In pictures: Mumbai attacks [BBC]
- Timeline of major India attacks [Sky]
Map: Mumbai hotels hit by terror attack
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