A high-flying British lawyer whose entire family was wiped out in the Sri Lanka massacre wandered around in a blood-soaked T-shirt desperately asking for his relatives, hospital staff said.
Shell-shocked Ben Nicholson was seen walking the streets of Colombo desperately hunting for his loved ones in the aftermath of the devastating blasts that killed 290 and injured more than 500 people.
His wife Anita, 42, son Alex, 11, and young daughter Annabel have all been confirmed to have died in the atrocity.
Anita Nicholson was having breakfast with her family at the Shangri La hotel in Colombo when two suicide bombers walked in and blew themselves up on Easter Sunday.
Schoolboy Alex, his younger sister Annabel and his mother, Anita, were all killed in the Table One cafe on the second-floor of the hotel in the country’s capital at around 8.30am.
They were on a family holiday when they got caught up in the attacks, which Sri Lankan authorities have blamed on a little-known Islamist group called National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), which were said to have had ‘international help’.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Pushpa Zoysa, in charge of the emergency triage at the National Hospital in Colombo, said: ‘I saw him covered in blood like this, walking up and down just there.
‘He spoke to me twice, asking about his family. He had blood all over him but he was not injured, apart from a small cut to his ear.
‘He was not running or crying, he was shocked. We wondered whether he was confused but he seemed in control. He just kept asking about his family members.
‘He was walking around completely alone and I feel sorry for him but there were so many dead and dying people here, I didn’t have time to speak to him more. Eventually he left.’
Ms Zoysa went on to describe the scenes of carnage that the hospital dealt with in the aftermath of the multiple atrocities.
She said: ‘It felt like a bomb had gone off right here. Vehicles were arriving full of body parts and with badly injured people.
‘We sent 22 bodies to the police mortuary and kept 11 here. Eight of those were dead when they arrived and the other three died in the emergency room.
‘They has no chance. They had multiple injuries and they looked dead. We tried to resuscitate them but there was no hope.’ The foreign patients a the hospital discharged themselves against medical advice, she said.
All day we have had people coming here I ask about missing people,’ she added. ‘I’m not surprised because there were vehicles coming in full of body parts.’
Lawyer Shakya Wickramanayake told the Times yesterday that Mr Nicholson found his son’s body at a mortuary.
She said: ‘The sister and mother were found dead before we met Mr Nicholson. Alex was found in the police mortuary mid-afternoon.’
The Nicholsons worked as lawyers based in Singapore, according to their online profiles.
Mrs Nicholson, a former legal adviser to HM Treasury, moved to Singapore to work for oil firm BP in April 2012. According to her Linked profile her current employer was Anglo America, the mining company.
Mr Nicholson was a partner in the Singapore office of Kennedys Legal Solutions and advises clients on insurance law.
Among the at least 35 foreign nationals killed in the co-ordinated blasts was billionaire ASOS owner Anders Holch Povlsen’s family as he also lost three of his four children in the terror attacks.
A spokesman for Povlsen, Denmark’s richest man who also owns a huge estate in Scotland, confirmed the deaths but did not say which of his four children had been killed. The billionaire had been on holiday with his family for the Easter holidays but he, his partner, and one of his children survived.
Just days before the devastating attacks, one of Povlsen’s children, Alma, shared a holiday snap of her siblings Astrid, Agnes and Alfred, next to a pool.
Sri Lankan officials have blamed a little-known Islamist group called National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) for the terrorist attacks, adding that the organisation had ‘international help’, raising fears that ISIS was involved.
Islamist extremist material has been recovered from a hotel room allegedly used by the suspects in the Sri Lanka hotel bombings, MailOnline can reveal.
The seven bombers co-ordinated their attacks targeting five-star hotels and churches on Easter Sunday in an apparent deliberate attempt to target westerners and Christians.
Manisha Gunasekera, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, has said eight British nationals were killed in the attacks. In total 39 foreigners have been confirmed dead including two joint UK-US nationals and a number of Dutch, Turkish, Australian and Portuguese people.
Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said: ‘We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country. There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.’
The NTJ were the subject of an intelligence warning ten days before the attacks. The warning said they were planning attacks on churches and the Indian high commission.
Police sources confirmed that the terrorists who targeted the Shangri La hotel had ‘pamphlets and paraphernalia’ associated with extremist Islamic ideology in their hotel room.
The killers had checked into room 616, where investigators also found two iPhone chargers.
Detectives told local media that the Shangri-La blast was a result of at least 55lbs of C-4 plastic explosives, though the conclusions await formal confirmation by a Government analyst.
Povlsen, 46, is married to Anne Storm Pedersen. The pair met when Anne began working in sales for Bestseller.
The pair have 11 Scottish estates, and a castle, covering an astonishing 221,000 acres. He is Britain’s biggest private landowner, surpassing the Dukes of Atholl with 144,000 acres and the Prince of Wales, who owns 130,000 acres.