This Is How It Felt While Reporting 26/11 Attack From Ground Zero

Reporters who were on ground on 26/11 share their first hand experiences.

3 min read
Hindi Female

(This story was first published on 23 November 2017 and is being reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark 12 years since the attacks.)

Nobody has been able to get over the ghastly 26/11 Mumbai terror attack that took place in 2008 and claimed the lives of more than 160 and injured around 300 people. On the tenth anniversary of this attack, we take a look at the first hand account of journalists who covered the attack from ground zero.


The 26/11 Attacks Took a Part of Mumbai Away From Me: Rohit Khilnani

Here’s an excerpt from his account:

After about two hours of standing outside the hotel and waiting for something to happen, I heard some crime reporters talking about two terrorists being chased in a Skoda car. So my cameraperson and I drove off in our office car and were stopped at Chowpatty by the police. As I got off the car, I saw a few Mumbai police constables battling it out with two terrorists using their lathis, one of them was Kasab. When I looked up at the hotel in front of me, I could see people standing close to the windows, they were frantically waving asking for help. But nobody was in a position to help them, I wondered what it must be like to be in those rooms. You cannot dare to step out and if anyone knocks on your door, you don’t know if the person wants to save your life or take it! 

Read the full account here.


Remembering to Forget, Covering Terror at the Taj: Sara Sidner

Here’s an excerpt from her account:

I was about to send a message to the company. BOOM. The sound exploded in my ears. My body reacted on its own, lurching down and twisting toward the sound. I didn’t think, I was on automatic pilot. My first instinct was to talk down the microphone, which I was still tethered to and which was still connected with CNN. I said something like, “you might want to put me on the air NOW.” My sense of the story had been shattered by a deafening explosion inside the Taj. Clearly it was not over. The day became progressively more intense. It turned out there were still hostages inside. There were still gunmen inside. And it was nowhere near over. 

Read the full account here


26/11 Terror Attack and The Lessons Journalists Can Learn: Gaurav Sawant

Here’s an excerpt from his account:

I was anchoring in the studio when this report just came in, I had the Mumbai Police Comissioner on the phone line, he was urging people to maintain their calm. As soon as I finished anchoring, I took a flight to Mumbai because I had to report LIVE. For Three days we were right outside The Taj and were reporting all the details. This was a huge mistake as the terror group in Pakistan came to know all the moves of the army. This incident was bizarre and scary. Terrorist even threw grenade at us.

Watch the full account here.


Reporting the Mumbai Terror Attacks: Phil Smith

Here’s an excerpt from his account:

I was just going to bed when I heard banging outside. I thought it was a fire cracker but then I heard another one and it sounded quite loud so I walked outside and around the building and found the wreckage of a scooter blown on its side and a shop front, with quite a large crowd gathering around. My team in Mumbai at the heart of the crisis were economic correspondents and hence were not trained for hostile environments so I had to handle the first part of the story myself before people could fly down from Delhi.

Listen to his full account here.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from news and india

Topics:  TV reporters   Journalists   Reporter 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More