Dusit D2 Attack: Five men died while shielding a woman
Tuesday, January 15, was a dark day in our history. It shall remain etched in our memories forever. On this fateful day, 100 of our Cellulant family members were going about their work.
• Ashford & Jeremiah were running a team meeting.
• Denis was at his desk preparing to join them.
• John & Kelvin were working on upgrading a key platform to increase capacity for customers.
• Wilfred had gone to the office to fix a customer issue.
So, what happened on this tragic day that brought us here?
• At 3pm, a terrorist arrived at DusitD2 Hotel and walked towards the gate where he hurled an explosive at security agents.
• At 3.06pm there was a second explosion from the suicide bomber outside the
Secret Garden restaurant, followed by rapid gunfire in the vicinity of
Cavendish block that houses our headquarters. That was the trigger that all was not well.
• The team spread out on 5th & 6th floors, began to leave using the building’s emergency exit.
• Ashford, Dennis and Jeremiah & a couple of other leaders stayed behind to ensure they mobilised all staff members out of the building.
• Anyone who knew them would know we’re not surprised that their last act was to make sure everyone else was safe.
• About 83 people managed to leave the building.
• At this point, one terrorist noticed this exit and began shooting at the streams of people. They blocked any further exit from the building
• 17 colleagues were effectively pinned down inside Cavendish block.
• With the gunshots ringing & echoing, it was difficult to tell how far or from which direction gunshots were coming.
• 6 colleagues sought refuge in a small room underneath the staircases on the first floor exit
• The other 11 ran upstairs and sought refuge in washrooms — two in the men’s, nine in the women’s.
• The terrorists eventually made their way to the fifth floor washroom, pulled out Ashford and shot him fatally.
• They also eventually started shooting and coming downstairs, discovering the six in hiding.
• They spoke to them briefly, introduced themselves as al Shabaab and shot into the team, killing five.
• One colleagues was miraculously unharmed. Jeremiah, Mike, John, Kelvin and Denis shielded her into the back corner behind them, removing her from sight.
By KEN NJOROGE