Student tells of bomb blast terror

By Dave GooderhamA STUDENT who was caught up in a terrifying bomb blast at one of Spain's most popular tourist resorts has spoken of her relief at escaping serious injury.

By Dave Gooderham

A STUDENT who was caught up in a terrifying bomb blast at one of Spain's most popular tourist resorts has spoken of her relief at escaping serious injury.

Ellie Carr, 20, was one of nine people hurt during two explosions yesterday after a terrorist group targeted hotels in Alicante and Benidorm.

Miss Carr, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, needed 20 stitches and suffered injuries to her head, arm and side of body.


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“I was in the middle of a Spanish lesson when there was this massive explosion and the whole building fell in around us,” she said.

“Before I knew it, I was covered in blood. I couldn't get down the stairs. I couldn't feel my head, but eventually I found a fire exit and ran outside.”

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Miss Carr, a modern languages student at Southampton University, was studying in a Spanish school near the hotel at the time of the explosion.

She recalled: “It felt like the bomb was in the room. Two other students were also hurt and are in hospital.

“I'm feeling a bit shaky, but everyone keeps saying how calm I'm being. Everyone has been really helpful.

“I was going to go travelling in Morocco next week, I'll have to see how I feel and what the doctors say.”

A spokesman for the Foreign Office in London said Miss Carr had later been released from hospital.

Her father, Robert, of Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds, said: “It's extremely distressing that this sort of terrorist atrocity can happen to anyone. We know Ellie's okay and left hospital and gone home, which is obviously a relief.”

Miss Carr had been travelling around Spain for two weeks and was on her second day of a Spanish language course in the town when the blast occurred.

Staff at King Edward VI Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, where Miss Carr went to school, said they were shocked to learn the former pupil had been injured in the atrocity.

Head of sixth form, Di McGeever, said: “Ellie was an absolutely fabulous student. She did four A-levels and was absolutely committed to French.

“In her gap year between A-levels and university she went off to Vietnam to teach English. She was one of those students you never forget.

“She was such a committed, co-operative and charming girl and has a natural talent in her subject - she's a natural linguist.

“It's distressing for the school to hear that Ellie has been caught up in something like this and we're hoping she's going to be fine as she's a lovely girl.”

It is believed Miss Carr also attended St Edmundsbury School and St James Middle School in Bury St Edmunds.

Russians and Swedes were among the others injured in the blasts that followed a telephone caller, claiming to represent Basque terror group ETA, telling a newspaper explosions would take place at 12.30pm. Both bombs exploded earlier than expected.

Separatist group ETA warned two weeks ago it was about to launch a wave of attacks against Spain's tourism industry having waged similar terror campaigns in the past.

UK tour operators have now warned British holidaymakers in the area to be vigilant.

A spokeswoman for the Association of British Travel Agents said: “Sadly, we seem to get two or three devices going off each summer in Spanish tourist areas.

“British tourists do not seem to be put off by these incidents, but we would urge people to be careful and to heed any advice they are given.”

ETA has claimed or been blamed for more than 800 deaths in its 30-year terror campaign aimed at damaging the Spanish economy.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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