Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Bomb Explodes At Yangon Hotel, Guests Not Told
YANGON (Nikkei)--A bomb exploded late Monday evening at an upscale foreign hotel in Myanmar's largest city of Yangon, after which the hotel staff did not inform guests of what happened.
The explosion occurred at Traders Hotel Yangon, which is frequented by business travelers and tourists from Japan and other countries. All of the hotel's 270 rooms were occupied the day of the explosion. According to Japan's Foreign Ministry, no Japanese people were hurt, but one American woman was injured.
The bomb went off on the hotel's ninth floor, which was then sealed off. The police are investigating the incident and armed soldiers have been stationed near the hotel's entrance and in the lobby. Bits of shattered window glass could be seen in front of the main entrance.
A 35-year-old Japanese trading company employee who was staying on the eighth floor said he heard a sound like an explosion, but thought it was noise from nearby construction. He said that 30 minutes later he went to down to the lobby to smoke, and saw a crowd of people and pieces of glass everywhere. That was when he realized a bomb had gone off.
"I heard Myanmar was a safe place, but I guess I should be more careful," he said.
Two Nikkei reporters were also staying at the hotel. They said there was no announcement or explanation made by the hotel after the blast, nor were any emergency procedures made for guests. People who gathered in the lobby were only told by hotel staff that there was no information available.
A 36-year-old South Korean company employee who learned of the incident after returning to the hotel that evening asked hotel staff if it was safe for guests to return to their rooms. The hotel staff said they could not be held responsible for guest safety if people did so.
"I will never stay at this hotel again," the South Korean said.
--Translated from an article by Nikkei staff writers Toru Takahashi and Motokazu Matsui
(The Nikkei, Oct. 15 online edition)