July 16th, 2009
10:00 PM ET

Witnesses: Explosions hit two Jakarta hotels

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/16/jakarta4small.jpg" caption="One witness captured the smoke rising above downtown Jakarta from the Ritz Carlton being bombed."]


Explosions tore through two luxury hotels Friday morning in south Jakarta, Indonesia.

Police sealed off the area around both blasts, one of which occurred in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the other at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, about 50 meters away, about 7:15 a.m.

"There was a boom and the building shook, and then subsequently two more," said hotel guest Don Hammer, who was leaving his room in the Marriott when the blast occurred. "The shocking part was entering the lobby, where the glass at the front of the hotel was all blown out and blood was spattered across the floor, but most people were leaving calmly."

Witnesses said they saw at least three people being carried away on stretchers. Greg Woolstencroft had just walked past the hotels to his nearby apartment when he heard an explosion.

"I looked out my window and I saw a huge cloud of brownish smoke go up," he told CNN in a telephone interview. "I grabbed my iPhone to go downstairs ... and then the second bomb went off at the Ritz-Carlton, so I then ran around to the Ritz-Carlton and I was able to find that there had been a massive bomb that
went off in this ... restaurant area and the explosion had blown out both sides of the hotel.

"I found inside the body of of what appears to be a suicide bomber, it looked like someone who had been a suicide bomber or someone who had been very, very close to the explosion.

"I also noticed that there were a number of injured people being taken off to hospital, but I only noticed one dead person at this point and time, that's all I saw. There has been extensive damage to both buildings, and at this point and time of course all the authorities are blocking up all the area and starting an investigation."

At the Ritz, windows were blown out on the second floor, as though the blast occurred from within.

The Marriott was the site of a terrorist attack in August 2003 that killed 12 people.

CNN Producer Andy Saputra in Jakarta and Miranda Leitsinger in Hong Kong contributed to this story.


Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Maria Cruz

    We need to finish the war on terror by eradicating those responsible for starting it on 911. It may be impossible to get everyone of those animals responsible, but certainly we can make it so expensive for these beasts and those that harbor them that they will think twice before going after innocent Americans or our allies.

    We did not start this war, but history has shown us to be experts at finishing them victoriously.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  2. stacia

    The Ritz Carlton resides in the business center in Jakarta, it's not far from J.W. Marriott Hotel. The police said that the bombs are the low explosive one. So far, there are 9 people die and at least 50 people are injured. Not only that, on the same day, an explosion caused by a truck happened in Muara Angke, North Jakarta but it was just an accident and there aren't much damages.

    July 17, 2009 at 6:10 am |
  3. L

    Have your eye looked at again. i remember you had some skin cancer removed under your left eye a couple of years ago. I am always glad to hear your professionalism and you have certainly been on double duty lately. Thank you for the coverage of Obama and the witness of that bone chilling place.

    July 17, 2009 at 4:26 am |
  4. Felix T

    There need to be a more efficient security system in place for the city.

    Although there are inspection check points with metal detectors, x-ray machines in luxury hotels, shopping malls and even condos, most of the times, people go pass these checkpoints without any problem. What is the point of installing checkpoints if they are going to be efficiently used only after an incident has happened?

    July 17, 2009 at 3:46 am |
  5. Del Baldwin

    Is it really that easy to bomb a location? Drop your guard for a minute and boom. The US is lucky or very good. Then NJ had a problem today.

    July 17, 2009 at 3:22 am |
  6. Binks

    Local news station Metro TV just reported that the bombers may have been guests staying in the JW Marriott hotel. Which means, the hotels were chosen for a specific reason, and considering that this is the second time JW Marriott is bombed in Jakarta, and in Pakistan a few months ago, it seems that whoever's responsible did this to send a strong message to JW Marriott (or its owners) or even to cause the hotels to close down for good. It's scary to think that people can do such evil to achieve their goals.

    July 17, 2009 at 3:06 am |
  7. Julie

    Okay. The words "hotel" and "bomb" don't go together well. Especially since I'm going on a trip tomorrow and my tarot cards said that I shouldn't go on a trip any time soon. Unfortunately, I have NO control over when I can go. I'm a little bit more freaked out.

    July 17, 2009 at 1:35 am |
  8. taratree

    A philospher once said, "There never was a bad peace, nor a good war." War is destructive, Peace is productive. We need to start to focus on the positive things of life. Life is a gift and so is the earth –it's time to appreciate and have respect for both. We need to teach our children to grow things, not kill things....

    July 17, 2009 at 1:32 am |
  9. Narendra

    Police found more not yet detonated bombs in JW Marriott..

    July 17, 2009 at 1:05 am |
  10. Nic Wiseman

    Please change your notation on the map of Indonesia as you have designated Bornio as Indonesia

    Nic Wisemanb

    July 17, 2009 at 1:03 am |
  11. suntak

    People must use caution & be alert to people around them. It takes an expert to turn off cameras & plant bombs. could be a new manager.

    carelessness sucks!!

    July 17, 2009 at 1:00 am |
  12. lisa Chicago, Ill,

    OMG Those poor people when is the bombing going.to stop?

    July 17, 2009 at 12:54 am |
  13. GregO

    Is it fare that XPresident Bush could lie to the american people about weapen's of mass distruction; go to war killing thousands of inncent people, that add nothing to do with 911...www.youtube.com/gregothompson

    July 17, 2009 at 12:48 am |
  14. Ninda

    I've been facebooking with some of my friends who's happen to work in the same area as those hotels, they are upset, scared but more than anything else, they are angry that these bombing again happened. They are angry at these horrible people whom again causing so much pain to so many people. Forget politics and religion, these are people's lives !

    July 17, 2009 at 12:42 am |
  15. Vony B

    I am from Jakarta, most 5 star hotel in Jakarta have a very thick security. You enter the parking lot they check your car with bomb detector, you can not even bring a large bag in there. They check your trunk, inside your car, anything. Anyone have to go through metal detector to enter the lobby. I went there a lot, ate in a restaurant there.
    Basically, the front of most hotels are like a fort. Malls are the same way, you have to go through a security system like in the airport.
    Sad.. everytime I heard news from home always bad news.

    July 17, 2009 at 12:29 am |
  16. Narendra

    The explosion in Muara Angke North Jakarta is not resulted from a bomb. It was a burned pick up truck that caused an explosion. This information is reported by Kompas, an Indonesia Newspaper.

    July 17, 2009 at 12:25 am |
  17. Ladas Taylor

    Everyone is saying how strong the security was after the last bombings – this is rubbish – having stayed and carried out work at the Marriott in 2007, 2008 – the security was a joke – pure lip service carried out by bored, badly paid security staff.

    July 17, 2009 at 12:14 am |
  18. Jessy

    Its a parked car near ruko. blew up and killed two ppl

    July 17, 2009 at 12:13 am |
  19. alfred trubin

    I have worked in indonesia 8 months a year for the past 10 years. Security at the 5 star hotels in jakarta is good, but they only search hand carried bags. Luggage is never scanned or searched at any of these of hotels.

    July 17, 2009 at 12:13 am |
  20. Jessy

    Hotel bombs within 10mins of each other President Director of Holcim Cement Timothy Mackay dead, David Potter (Senior Freeport employee?) Being operated on.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  21. Steve in SC

    FYI...JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton are both owned by Marriott Int'l, which is partially owned and run by the Marriott family. The Marriott family are devout Mormons. Part of the Mormon religion involves spending a year in your early life on "mission", which usually is done overseas, and involves spreading the word of the Mormon (Christian) faith. This could be a part of the reason that Muslim terrorists target Marriott hotels overseas, such as those in Jakarta and Pakistan.

    (Personal note...I work for Marriott, and would strongly request that I not be identified except as Steve in SC)

    July 16, 2009 at 11:55 pm |
  22. Jennifer Oliver

    Potential Motive of Jakarta Bombings:

    I think the motive of the bombings may be that the terrorists want the attention of President Obama to Indonesia's economic/polical issues, since he has spent the last week on the African-American Ghana perspective in the media. Whomever these terrorists are, they are like children needing attention and wanting their plight heard by their "homeboy", President Obama. I'm sure the White House has made this connection, too, but just wanted to point it out.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  23. Jessy

    Another explosion in Muara Angke North Jakarta.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  24. Titus

    Be honest if Micheal Jackson daughters where seen going in to a Catholic Church or any other religious service other than Jehovah's
    Witnesses, would you guys really be so critical and judgmental?

    July 16, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  25. Narendra

    It must be an inside job I agree. However, sometimes I can get in with my phone and wallet inside my pocket through the human metal detector. Even though it beeped, they just smile and let me in. But if this is done by a suicide bomber with bombs attached to the body, this surely will be noticed by security guards.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  26. Narendra

    Cars can drive up to the lobby, only after going through heavy vehicle security. All bags have to be searched by security guards, however, they do not go through x-ray.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  27. Sumera- Maryland

    very disturbing pictures, remindes me bombing in Karachi (my bith city) in which my elder sister was injured.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  28. Stephen J.

    Is it a coincidence that both hotels in Jakarta have the same owner? I've been at the Ritz a number of times and with the high security in place I strongly believe that it must be an inside job!

    July 16, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  29. rahmilyna putri

    i am loosing my words and mind to say anything.it is a very sad morning

    July 16, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  30. Sabrina In Las Vegas

    Employee working in the cafe would not be questioned for being there but would have access to the people.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  31. Sabrina In Las Vegas

    With those security measures at the Ritz, it had to be an employee.

    What security measures do they have to under go daily?

    It would be easy to gain the hotels confidence and then be the one to do this....sleeper.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  32. Dennis Koltz, Macapá, Amapá, Brazil

    I can't understand how someone can get a bomb into these hotels. It had to been a inside job.

    July 16, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  33. katie

    its so sad that six people dided in this bombing

    July 16, 2009 at 11:07 pm |