Sri Lanka blasts: Dad 'wandered the streets in bloody shirt' looking for wife and children who were killed in hotel explosion
Ben Nicholson had been on holiday in the country with his 42-year-old wife Anita, 11-year-old son Alex, and young daughter Annabel when the tragedy struck.
A man from England was reportedly found wandering the streets in a bloody shirt after his entire family was killed in the explosions that took place in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday terror attacks. Ben Nicholson had been on holiday in the country with his 42-year-old wife Anita, 11-year-old son Alex, and young daughter Annabel. All three members have since been confirmed dead. According to one medic at the ER in the National Hospital in Colombo, Nicholson was walking the streets "covered in blood" after the explosions.
Pushpa Zoysa told Mirror Online: "I saw him covered in blood like this, walking up and down just there. He spoke to me twice, asking about his family. 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."
It was reported that the family was dining at the Shangri-La hotel when the blast occurred. Anita's LinkedIn profile states that she was a managing counsel at Anglo American, a mining and metals company, in Singapore. Nicholson is reportedly a partner in the Singapore office of Kennedys Legal Solutions and he reportedly advises clients on insurance law.
Echo News reported that the devastated father said in a statement: "Following reports in the media over the past 36 hours, my family and I wish to confirm that my wife Anita, our son Alex, 14, and our daughter Annabel, 11, were killed in the bombing of the restaurant of the Shangri-la Hotel, Colombo on Sunday morning while sitting at our table."
"Mercifully, all three of them died instantly and with no pain or suffering. I am deeply distressed at the loss of my wife and children. Anita was a wonderful, perfect wife and a brilliant, loving and inspirational mother to our two wonderful children. The holiday we had just enjoyed was a testament to Anita's enjoyment of travel and providing a rich and colorful life for our family, and especially our children. Alex and Annabel were the most amazing, intelligent, talented and thoughtful children and Anita and I were immensely proud of them both and looking forward to seeing them develop into adulthood."
"They shared with their mother the priceless ability to light up any room they entered and bring joy to the lives of all they came into contact with. I would like to give my sincere thanks for the medical teams at General Hospital, Colombo, for treating Anita, Alex, and Annabel with great dignity and me with kindness and sympathy. I would also like to thank the teams at the British High Commission and Adhvan Tours who have looked after me since Sunday morning and the Sri Lankan people I have encountered in Colombo following this catastrophe."
"Anita, Alex, and Annabel leave behind a large extended family and many close and cherished friends who are now grieving this tragic loss. We shall all miss them dearly. We are all grateful for the many expressions of support and good wishes. We would ask that the media now respect our privacy and allow us to grieve together."