Skip to main content
CNN International EditionWorld
The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ON TV
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CNN Access

Witness: Villa shook like cardboard


Story Tools

more video VIDEO
Al Qaeda is suspected in the fatal bombings.
premium content

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince reacts to the suicide bombings.
premium content

Bush and Cheney vow to bring the killers to justice.
premium content

CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Americans who live in Saudi Arabia.
premium content
INFORMATION
Family members concerned about Americans in Riyadh from inside the U.S. at (888) 407-4747

Or from outside the U.S. at
(317) 472-2328.
SPECIAL REPORT
• Interactive: The hunt for al Qaeda
• Audio slide show: Bin Laden's audio message, 2/03
• Special report: Terror on tape
• Special report: War against terror

(CNN) -- Explosions rocked the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, late Monday. At least three of them targeted housing compounds that are home to Americans and other non-Saudis.

An Australian woman who lives in one of the targeted compounds spoke by phone Monday to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper about what she saw and heard.

COOPER: U.S. officials tell CNN [that] the U.S. suspects the blast "could very well be the work of al Qaeda." We're joined on the phone now from Riyadh by Helen, who asked that we not reveal her full name and says she was an eyewitness. Helen, what did you see?

HELEN: Hi. I was sitting in my lounge at about 11:20 p.m., and I could hear gunfire which I thought was [part of] the regular wedding celebrations here. But it seemed to go on a bit longer, and several guns [could be heard], which was unusual.

For a second I thought of calling up security and finding out what's happening when this -- just an incredible, loud explosion went off, and the sky was filled with orange light.

My villa, which is about 4,500 square feet of concrete, shook like a cardboard box. [The] power [was] cut out. Windows [were] blown out. I ran for cover.

COOPER: After you got up, what did you see? What was the aftermath? What was it like?

HELEN: Well, first of all, I was hiding because I don't know if the compound had been penetrated by terrorists. So we had to hide. The whole compound was blackened -- well, my side, anyway, of the compound. And to be quite honest, it was a shocking -- I couldn't think past just trying to save myself.

COOPER: And are you still hiding?

HELEN: No, I'm not.

COOPER: And have you seen the aftermath? Have you seen any casualties? We've had some reports of casualties, though not a specified number.

HELEN: For about an hour-and-a-half, there was just ambulances constantly leaving the premises. So I'm assuming [they were] taking away casualties. We also have a medical clinic here in the compound.

The area has been closed off by police. We've had helicopters flying over. We've had a great amount of military security surrounding the compound.

We are actually a military compound, so we do have 24 hours a day, seven days a week, military security.

COOPER: Helen, we very much appreciate you joining us. I know you have to go. But we appreciate you taking the time to speak with us.


Story Tools
Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Issues of Time! cover
Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
EU 'crisis' after summit failure
 
 
 
 

CNN US
On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.