Many people in Mumbai are assessing the extent of the carnage after
days of fighting between armed assailants and Indian security forces.
Raymond Thibodeaux has this report from Mumbai.
This was the
scene in front of the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel the final
standoff in a citywide siege that had stretched into a fourth day.
have moved in to put out the last of the flames that erupted as Indian
commandos battled at least three heavily armed assailants amid a
hailstorm of bullets and grenade blasts.
Hundreds of bystanders
watched the firefighters from a police cordon, many of them appeared to
be stunned by the extent of the damage to the Taj hotel, a more than
103-year-old symbol of Indian pride and one of the world's most
Many of those bystanders worked at the Taj
as drivers, kitchen staff, and maintenance workers. To them, the
charred, bullet-riddled hotel is a sign of hard times to come.
Singh is a 42-year-old driver from the Taj. "I am very, very sad
because we don't have any jobs after this," he said. "Everybody liked
the Taj and I also was very happy. Now, I am very sad."
It is unclear when the Taj hotel will reopen.
Nearby, the Trident Oberoi hotel is closed. So far, at least 30 bodies have been recovered from the hotel.
Solomon, 48, has been a taxi driver for 12 years. He says his agency
depends on foreign tourists for much of its revenue.
common people it is already a very big problem," said Solomon. "The
climate has changed economically. Poor people are living very hard
today. The roadside shopping and the government have been closed. What
can the people do? In another two or three months, there will be big
Solomon, who comes from the Indian state of Tamil
Nadu, says that if the Taj and the Oberoi hotels do not open within the
next few months, he will most likely face serious financial difficulty.
He might have to go back to his hometown.
The financial fallout
of the attacks remains to be seen, but it is clear that two of the
country's most expensive and luxurious hotels are out of commission.
India's tourism industry employs about 42 million people, many of them
in Mumbai, seen as the financial and entertainment gateway to India.
and Singh both said they are hoping that Mumbai lives up to its
reputation for resilience and quickly bounces back from this tragedy.