Billionaire ASOS owner Anders Holch Povlsen loses three of his four children in deadly Sri Lanka bombings on Easter Sunday
Easter Sunday in the island country of Sri Lanka was marred by explosions that have claimed the lives of 290 people and left 500 injured in seven coordinated attacks on churches as well as five-star hotels.
Anders Holch Povlsen, the billionaire owner of British online fashion and cosmetic retailer ASOS, is reported to have lost three of his four children in the terror attacks that took place on April 21. The names of the children have not been disclosed over privacy concerns.
The Sun reported that Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that three Danish nationals were killed in the blasts. Danish site Berlingske quoted Jesper Stubkier, the head of communications for Bestseller — an ASOS partner, as saying: "Unfortunately, we can confirm that [the deaths of the three children in Sri Lanka]. We ask you to respect privacy and we, therefore, have no further comment."
Just three days before the blasts rocked the country, Povlsen's daughter shared a picture on Instagram of her three siblings in front of a swimming pool that was lined by palm trees. She captioned the image calling them "three little bears".
Povlsen's children had been visiting the country over the Easter holidays. Berlingske reported that it is still unclear in which of the eight explosions the billionaire's children died. Povlsen is also the second largest private landowner in the UK and is the largest shareholder of the online store.
Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Denmark's Prime Minister, said in a press release that the attack has left him filled with pain and sorrow and that all of Denmark is standing united with the families who have lost their loved ones in the explosions. He added: "I can only condemn these disgusting terror actions, which are based on a grotesque view of humanity. Our fears that there are Danes among the victims have regrettably been confirmed."
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported that a popular television chef and her daughter, believed to be a British student, are among the first victims to be identified in the blasts. Television personality Shantha Mayadunne and her daughter Nilanga Mayadunne died tragically as they were present inside the five-star Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo when it was attacked. Reports state that the two were joined by their family who had all gathered at the hotel to have an Easter breakfast together.
Nilanga posted a heartbreaking picture on Facebook of her family having breakfast together at the hotel right before the explosion. She captioned the picture with: "Easter breakfast with family." A college friend of Nilanga, 34-year-old Radha Fonseca, a Sri Lankan expat living in Dubai told Gulf News: "When I heard the news, I was left numbed and shocked. I don’t know what more to say."
"Nisanga was a very popular girl in college. Besides the fact that she was bright and smart, her mother Shantha Mayadume, a renowned chef, made her more popular in college. She (the mother) was well respected and an inspirational chef for Sri Lankans. Destiny has taken away both of them. I am devastated," Fonseca added.