Spanish politician ran barefoot on bloodied Oberoi floor to escape

November 28th, 2008 - 10:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 28 (IANS) A leading Spanish politician, Esperanza Aguirre, ran barefoot through the blood spattered corridors of the Oberoi Trident Hotel in Mumbai to escape the bullets of terrorists who laid siege to it.”I didn’t even know they were terrorists. I only saw the blood that I had to cross barefoot. I stepped on quite a few puddles of blood,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre, president of the conservative Partido Popular of Madrid, narrated her harrowing experience in a televised press conference in Madrid on her return from Mumbai.

Aguirre had barely checked in at the Oberoi Trident when the terrorists started the gunfire. She was there as part of a Spanish business delegation executive.

“Only when it turned into a machinegun volley, clearly a sustained shootout, did I realise what was happening,” Aguirre said during the course of press conference, reported The Los Angeles Times.

She threw herself behind the reception desk.

Thereafter the hotel staff took the guests to the kitchen, then the storerooms of the kitchen, then the laundry. “Then they took us to the offices of the manager,” she said.

Aguirre, according to the Los Angeles Times, said the hotel staff aided them in escaping. As they ran from one safe corner of the hotel to the other, Aguirre said she lost a shoe. So she quickly removed her other shoe as well.

After escaping the hotel, the delegation piled into cars and was rushed to the airport, from where they flew back to Madrid.

Known for her unflinching style and elegant outfits, Aguirre addressed the press conference looking weary. She was wearing the same clothes she had worn for the trip with less-than-chic white shoes and socks that replaced those she had lost in the carnage at the Oberoi Trident, the newspaper said.

Aguirre is the first woman to have been the president of the Senate and the minister of education and culture in Spain.

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