Mumbai/Nicosia, Nov.28 : British Greek yachting tycoon Andreas Liveras is said to have given a harrowing account of the situation inside the terrorist-held Taj Hotel in Mumbai, moments before he was shot dead.
Liveras, 73, telephoned the BBC from a locked room inside the hotel as terrorists fired AK47 automatic rifles and set off grenades outside.
The self-made millionaire, who ran a chartered yacht company based in Monaco and was in Bombay for a trade show, had described how he and other guests were locked in the basement of the hotel for their own protection.
"There must be more than 1,000 people here. There are residents and tourists and locals. We are not hiding, we are locked in here - nobody tells us anything, the doors are locked and we are inside.
Hotel staff are helping us a lot, providing water and sandwiches - but nobody is eating really, people are frightened," The Times quoted him, as saying.
"Theast bomb exploded about 45 minutes ago and it shook the hotel up. Nobody comes in this room and nobody goes out. All we know is the bombs are next door and the hotel is shaking. The hotel is shaking every time a bomb goes off. Everybody is just living on their nerves," Liveras further said.
At 9.30 p.m. Mumbai time, Liveras was pronounced dead by doctors at the St George's hospital.
The circumstances of his death remain unclear, but a hospital spokesman said that he had been shot "multiple times".
Liveras said that he had visited the hotel on Wednesday for a curry after hearing that it served the best food in Bombay.
Family members said that he might have escaped death had he been carrying his Cypriot passport.
Theophanis Liveras, his brother, told The Times that Andreas was in a good frame of mind and was talking to his son Dion in England hours before his tragic death.
Theophanis, who lives in Nicosia, Cyprus, called Liveras's mobile phone, which was answered by an Indian woman who shocked him by shouting: "He's been shot."
The victim was the first of nine children born to a shepherd in Cyprus.
His brother said: "His death is a terribly unfair loss. If he had been killed in an accident, for example on his private plane, I could have understood that. But this is so utterly unfair."
Three daughters and a son who all live in England survive Liveras.