The explosion outside Sri Lanka’s St Anthony’s Church in Colombo was captured on video by a vehicle’s dashcam on Sunday morning (April 21).
It was one of three churches hit and where one of the first explosions was reported. At least 207 have been killed in eight blasts on Easter Sunday.
The video shows fire and black smoke billowing from the church building.
Vehicles are seen moving away from the church, with some going against traffic in a bid to get away.
One van is seen driving over the road divider to get away from the scene, and shops in the vicinity were shuttered.
Witnesses of the blast said many had died inside the church.
Shopkeeper N. A. Sumanapala told New York Times he ran inside the building to help.
“It was a river of blood,” he said.
“The priest came out and he was covered in blood and he seemed be covered in someone else’s skin.”
A Reuters source in the police bomb squad said that casualties were being evacuated. At least 160 people injured in the St Anthony’s blast had been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital by mid-morning, an official told AFP.
An AFP photographer at the church saw bodies lying on the floor, some draped with scarves and clothes.
Much of the church roof was blown out in the explosion, with roof tiles, glass and splintered wood littering the floor along with pools of blood.
Witness accounts shed light on the horrific aftermath of the explosions that shocked the country.
Mr Asela Waidyalankara heard the explosion at the Tropical Inn, a small hotel near Dehiwala Zoo in Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia and went to his rooftop to check.
He told CNN that he saw two helicopters pass over the site, followed by the sound of ambulances and fire trucks.
Two people reportedly died in the explosion at the hotel, one of four hit in Colombo.
At Shangri-La hotel, one of the guests said there were around 40 casualties.
Mr Akhat Saraf, who was staying at the hotel with his wife and child, told BBC World News that two loud bangs could be heard from the 25th floor and the entire room was shaking.
They could not see much from their window, but decided to go down to the hotel lobby.
“I could see a lot of guests taken to different hospitals,” he said, adding that police and ambulances had arrived by the time he got to the lobby.
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SOURCE: The Straits Times