SINGAPORE (UPI) — The months have rolled past since the Bali bomb blast killed 202 people, mainly foreign tourists, but memories remain fresh of the mindless horror on the night of Oct. 12, 2002.
For Alan Atkinson, a news and current affairs journalist and producer with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation who just happened to be vacationing in Kuta on that day, the most vivid memories remain walking through the streets in the early morning of Oct. 13 in search of the bomb site.
“I will never forget. All the way in the streets, the glass windows of all the shops and department stores were shattered; people looked bewildered, sweeping up glass. I couldn’t understand why. I though there had been a riot, someone had gone on a rampage. It’s only when I got closer (to the bomb site) that I became to see the enormity of what had happened,” Atkinson recalls.
Atkinson has just published the book “Terror in Bali,” his eyewitness account of the blast’s aftermath, the search for the bodies, the plight of the mourning families as they awaited identification at the morgue, the official visit of Australian Prime Minister Howard and the blame game.
Atkinson was one of the first Western journalists at the scene of the bomb blasts, having been woken up in the early hours of the morning by a warning phone call from his brother-in-law in Sydney. Before the media circus descended on the small tourist haunt and headquartered itself at the Hard Rock Caf