Hair raising escape for newly wed couple

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Sydney, Nov 27: It was a sheer luck for the Australian bride, Chloe Papazahariakis and the Indian Bridegroom, Puneet Vasishta who is an actor by profession as they escaped as being taken as hostages in the gruesome terrorist attack in Mumbai. But the couple still got trapped in the Mumbai's terror night. The couple along with their relatives and friends were in Mumbai to celebrate their wedding in the Pencharatna Hotel close to Taj Intercontinental Hotel where the terrorists commandeered on Wednesday, Nov 26 night. They were forced to stay inside the Pencharatna restaurant in south Mumbai as security forces battled outside with militants.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the wedding party had a drink at the Taj hotel but fortuitiously changed their mind about going to the Cafe Leopold, which was also attacked by terrorists Wednesday night. They then decided to go to the Pencharatna, which is owned by a member of Vasistha's family.

Chloe's father, the well-known Australian restaurateur Nick Papazahariakis, told the newspaper that 'it was fate' that the wedding party was not blown up in the Leopold cafe that was attacked by terrorists Wednesday night.

'We were supposed to go to the Leopold restaurant, where the first bombing was, and we were around the corner at the Taj (Mahal hotel) having a drink earlier in the evening. We decided we didn't want to go to Leopold and so we left the Taj Mahal hotel and we were all having dinner and then the news of the attacks came.

'They said they'd just bombed Leopold restaurant, and we all looked at each other and thought, 'We're supposed to be there for dinner'.'

Before getting trapped inside the resturant as a gunbattle began between security forces and terrorists, Chloe told the Sydney Morning Herald: 'I've just moved to this beautiful city to marry my husband... and I've got about 20 friends here for the wedding in the midst of all this chaos.'

'We just can't believe it,' she added.

'They are targeting every suburb in this city but the most tragic thing is that for the first time ever they are targeting big-time foreigners and five-star hotels.

'... They've got hand grenades and police are very worried they are suicide bombers. They are on a rampage - it's full-on and they are not stopping,' Chloe said.

The most audacious terror attack in Mumbai began Wednesday night, when militants attacked high profile landmarks, including the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Oberoi Trident Hotel, Metro Theatre and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) railway station.

OneIndia News

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