The Islamabad Marriott may be lost foreverSeptember 22nd, 2008 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Sep 22 (IANS) The Marriott hotel, reduced to a burnt skeleton after a powerful suicide bombing claimed 53 lives Saturday, may not reopen with some experts suggesting it should be demolished.A suicide bomber drove a large truck full of explosives to its gates Saturday evening and detonated himself. The deafening explosion left a 30-ft deep crater in the front and the five-storey building of the hotel burnt for almost two days. Only a shell remains, with all its furniture and fixtures completely gutted.
Declaring the structure and foundation of the hotel was still solid, engineers say only the upper part of the hotel was affected by the blast. Though they also ruled out the possibility of the building collapsing, they recommended the building be pulled down.
“We have suggested the structure be dismantled,” an engineer at the site told IANS. He added that the continuous fire and heat had weakened the structure to a great extent but it was “not dangerous”.
The hotel, which started in 1977 as Holiday Inn and joined the Marriott chain in 1988, was owned by Sadruddin Hashwani, one of Pakistan’s top businessmen. Through the years, it had hosted several international personalities and was the hub of social gatherings in the capital.