November 28th, 2008
02:48 PM ET

India attacked: First accounts from survivors

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/11/27/india.attacks.responsibility/art.gunman.jpg caption="One of the gunmen is pictured in Mumbai, India, during the deadly attacks."]
Program note: Watch an interview with the Scotts' son, Jonathan Macoff, tonight during special CNN coverage of the Mumbai attacks.  Tonight, 7-9p ET.

This report first aired on CNN-IBN and CNN Newsroom. Below is a rough transcript of an interview with two American survivors of the Mumbai attacks.

CNN-IBN Reporter: The story of every survivor we have met today is really the same, Indian or foreigner that kept us on tenterhooks that survived today. I'm being joined by Patricia and Bruce - I think they look safe all, they're continuing to stay here in India.

Yes, of course, of course. It was the only phone we had. The battery was running down. The phones in the hotel, the TV wasn't working, the lights were hardly working. They had re-invented our tour and we're not going home. We are not going to let the terrorists win there and ruin every thing.

We heard some noise outside. We didn't see or hear anybody, we didn't see terrorists but when I looked through I saw what looked like police. They were wearing armor, and a body armor, they had weapons. So I kind of tapped on the door and made a little, hello, I'm in here. I was afraid if I ran in the hall, they might think I was a bad guy. So we were very careful about that. They came in, they checked our credentials and they looked at our passport, they made sure the room was clean and they brought us out. They brought us down the 17 floors and we're here to tell the story and thank God.

P. SCOTT: And when we came down the floor with an Australian man and a South African man and a Chinese man and the two of us as American and there was blood all over the steps.

Thank God they took the bodies away because it would have been so hard. Everybody grabbed hands, a woman's heel, just standing there and you know that she kind of tried before as we were walking out - we are so grateful that the passage of India tour group came through and helped us every hour, every step of the way. The commandos were so powerful, we felt so protected they did just a phenomenal job.

B. SCOTT: I might say, if you let fear control you, fear runs your life, and the terrorists have won. Don't let that happen. It's important to be fearful if someone's got a gun on you, then that's the appropriate time, but to live the rest of your life in fear because of this attack, no you don't do that.

Filed under: India Attacked • Patricia Scott • Terrorism
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Ed Lee

    I spent most of Wednesday night (into Thanksgiving Morning) in Los Angeles alongside Bruce and Pati's daughter, Amanda. We were glued to CNN. tried to stay in contact with Pati and Bruce, and called every possible connection who might help us. I contacted a federal agent friend from the Commerce Department who previously worked for the Secret Service. Through these channels, we were able to get Bruce and Pati's cell phone number, room number and passport numbers to the proper U.S. authorities in Mumbai.

    The vice consulate contacted Bruce and Pati, encouraging them to quietly wait in their room, not even to flush the toilet. The only previous information the Scotts had received was when the the hotel called at 10-11 pm that there was a fire and they should stay in their room. For most of the evening, we updated them on the situation outside by describing CNN reports. Our cell contact was our lifeline.

    Our low point came after the siege began and the Scotts' cell phone ran out of credits. Luckily, their travel agent bought them more credits, so the authorities could keep tabs on their whereabouts. THIS IS IMPORTANT: WHEN TRAVELING ABROAD, ALWAYS LET THE U.S. EMBASSY KNOW WHERE YOU ARE AND HOW YOU CAN BE REACHED. And RENT A LOCAL CELL PHONE and make sure your emergency contacts in the U.S. as well as the Conslulate has your passport informtaion, your cell information, your hotel room number, and any other information you can provide to hem. In any case, there were several firefights and explosions in the Taj before they could make it to the 17th floor.

    Finally, as Indian Commandos swept the 17th floor of the Taj Tower, Bruce identified him and his wife, and they were escorted safely out by a professional paramilitary squad. As the troops led them down 17 flights of stairs, Bruce and Pati were finally able to see the full gruesomeness of the attacks on the blood-stained walls.

    Bruce and Pati are sweet, strong, people. Bruce was in New York City during 9/11 and is no stranger to terrorist situations. People may criticize the Scott couple about their decision to continue their India tour. Their decision is commendable and tells us about their hearts. Even after enduring a horrific, terror-filled night at the Taj, they still have faith that humans are essentially decent, humane people. This belief was reinforced as they entered the Mumbai Police Station to cheers and affection, Indian strangers hugging them and telling them what good karma they have to have gotten out alive.

    On behalf of Amanda Scott, i'd like to express our condolences to the people of Mumbai as well as the foreigners and nationals who were injured and killed in that city. We hope the beautiful gem of India can rebuild and prevent future attacks more easily. We'd also like to thank the Indian Commando Unit, the U.S. Consolate in Mumbai, the State Department, and all the first responders who kept Bruce and Patricia Scott safe.

    Ed Lee

    November 29, 2008 at 3:18 am |
  2. Ella

    I agree with you, Louise.

    November 28, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  3. Liz Jones

    As friends of Pati and Bruce, I am so relieved and overjoyed that they are okay. They are two of the most amazing people I know. They live life to the fullest and are just happy to be alive, everyday, not just yesterday. I'm sure they are in shock, as would anybody who had been through what the survivors of Mumbai have, but the beautiful thing about Pati and Bruce is that while others see it as something horrific and terrifying, they are just excited to have made it through safe and together. They are two very adventurous, out-going, vivacious people. Of course they were scared, they were holed up in their room while people were being killed around them and their family and friends were worried sick at home, but they kept strong, and true to Pati and Bruce's way of life....they weren't going to let anyone or anything beat them. They live that way everyday, why should Thursday be any different? Everyone should take a page out of their books.

    November 28, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  4. david mansor

    Why is India not letting the U.S. Special Forces or the CIA get over there and get rid of these jerks. What is the matter with the Indian Government. They look like that they are poorly trained and they do not know how to be a uniform military. The FBI must send in a team of SWAT to get rid of these bastards. What in the hell is India waiting for, nobody gives a damn about how they look they need HELP now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 28, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
  5. Louise

    I saw this interview on television... I think that these people were still in shock as they seemed kind of exhialrated by what they had been through. Like it was part of their vacation. I thought they were behaving strangly. This was not a movie and was real life. Maybe when these people settle down they will reazlize this.

    November 28, 2008 at 6:57 pm |