Nairobi News

HashtagNewsWhat's Hot

Hotel employee who walked past suicide bomber narrates brush with death

By SAMWEL OWINO January 20th, 2019 2 min read

There is escaping death narrowly, and there is Mr Abdullahi Ogello’s story of the terrorist attack at 14 Riverside Drive on Tuesday.

In a video of one of the terrorists blowing himself up at dusitD2 Hotel, Mr Ogello — dressed in white — passes the suicide bomber and disappears.
Just seconds later, the man, seen in the video talking on phone, blows himself up.

Mr Ogello recalled walking past the terrorist who was smartly dressed in a black suit and a white shirt.

The terrorist was speaking in Kiswahili with a coastal accent, he said.

“I heard him ask: ‘Kwani mko wapi … mimi niko hapa’ (Where are you? I’m here),” Mr Ogello told the Saturday Nation.


The man, who has worked at dusitD2 Hotel as site supervisor for nine years, said the face of the terrorist was familiar and he would have recognised him had he taken interest.

“I thank God that I am alive to tell the tale. God knows why he spared my life,” Mr Ogello said.

“I have learnt that nobody can take your life before your time comes.”

The terrorist blew himself up moments after Mr Ogello passed, engulfing the restaurant part of the hotel in smoke.

“Initially, I thought it was a gas explosion but when gunshots rent the air immediately after that, I realised we were under attack,” Mr Ogello said.


“I saw a man who was seriously injured in the restaurant lying on the table. The body parts of the terrorist was strewn all over the place. There was a hand at the door as I and the others ran for our lives.”

Upon sensing danger, the security manager at the complex quickly opened the emergency door that leads to Riverside park.

“His actions saved many lives. Those at the hotel escaped using the emergency exit,” Mr Ogello said.

He then called his wife and father to inform them that the hotel was under attack but assured them that he was safe.