Near simultaneous explosions hit the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels in the Jordanian capital Amman on Wednesday just before 9 pm, over 50 people died in the blasts and more than a 100 were wounded.
At the Radisson, the bomb occurred in the middle of a wedding party in the banquet hall on the ground floor, where there were more than 200 guests.
While the Grand Hyatt’s lobby was hit shattering its stone-clad entrance, a smaller wedding party was also at this hotel.
The third explosion, at the Days Inn, happened after a car packed with explosives drove near to the hotel.
According to the Associated Press the vehicle could not cross a protective barrier so it detonated outside. As a result, the casualties at the Days Inn were not so extensive as at the other hotels.
Many Westerners, including tourists, businessmen were staying at the three hotels.
Jordan’s capital and its hotels, act as bases for contractors who fly in and out of neighbouring Iraq for work. Reuters news agency reports that the Radisson Hotel is also popular with Israeli tourists.
Statement concerning explosion at the Grand Hyatt Amman
We can confirm that there has been an explosion in the lobby of Grand Hyatt Amman. The hotel has been completely evacuated and local police have cordoned off the area and assumed control of the hotel. We cannot confirm the number of injuries at this time. The hotel’s management team is working to assure the safety and relocation of Hyatt guests who have been evacuated.
Statement concerning explosion at the Radisson SAS Hotel Amman
Rezidor SAS Hospitality, the partner of Radisson Hotels & Resorts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, confirms that an explosion took place on Wednesday, 9 November 2005, in the Philadelphia Hall (the hotel’s banquet hall) of the Radisson SAS Hotel, Amman during a wedding reception. This was one of a series of explosions in the city.
The full extent of the damage and the number of injuries cannot be confirmed at this time as the area is still sealed off by local authorities. No in-house guests are among the casualties. The fatalities at this stage are believed to be guests from the wedding party and one hotel employee servicing the banquet hall.
The hotel is working closely with local authorities and has arranged buses for guests who wish to depart. The hotel is currently operating a normal service and has increased the staff manning the switchboard to answer all incoming calls. Please call +962 6 560 7100 to reach the hotel concerning the incident.
Our thoughts and condolences are with those who have been affected by this tragic incident and those who have lost loved ones.