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“It’s a traumatic time”: Aussie survivor of Kenyan terrorist attack speaks out

An Australian man who survived the terrorist attack that took place at a Kenyan hotel last week has spoken out about his experience.

Simon Crump, was working in a shared office space inside the complex when the attack took place. He was forced to barricade himself in a board room with several others and wait out the attack.

At least 21 people are believed to have been killed by militants who stormed a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi’s Westlands district last week.

The Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) said in a statement that authorities have confirmed all buildings affected by the attack on the complex have since been secured.

Among the dead was a British citizen and a US citizen, the latter Jason Spindler, had previously survived the 9/11 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York.

The attack has since been claimed by al-Shabab.

Simon Crump (left) Source: AP
Simon Crump (left) Source: AP

“We were focused on getting out of there alive, being acutely aware that there were active shooters throughout the compound that we could potentially come under fire from,” Crump told the ABC.

“It’s not something you expect when you go to work on a Tuesday morning — that your day will be side-tracked by such events.”

Crump said upon hearing the first explosions his initial fear was the Australian High Commission was under attack.

“I’ve got a good view of the High Commission from my window, and once I realised it wasn’t an attack on the embassy, I realised it potentially was a more serious incident than I was anticipating,” he said.

Crump told The World Today that when security personnel finally arrived, he and fellow survivors weren’t sure whether to open the door or not.

“One of the biggest fears you have in such a situation is whether the people who are banging at the door are the people who are going to get you out of such a situation, or whether they are the people who are going to hurt you,” he said.

Once rescued, the group took a slow and careful approach to leave the building, as the terrorists were still at large.

“You’re nervous, you’re anxious, you’re not understanding what is happening — there are a lot of feelings you go through in such a situation that are very hard to put words to,” Crump said.

“It’s a traumatic time, it’s a very stressful time … you are wondering whether you should be messaging your loved ones to say, ‘Thank you, it’s been swell, please forgive me and I love you’, or, ‘Please be calm and we will be out shortly’.”

Featured image source: AP/Khalil Senosi

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