Bomb Blast Hits Traders Hotel in Rangoon

By Naomi Gingold & Kyaw Phyo Tha 15 October 2013

RANGOON — A small bomb on Monday night ripped through a ninth story room at Traders Hotel, an upscale hotel in downtown Rangoon that is popular among tourists and foreign business travelers.

An American woman who was staying at the hotel with her family was injured in the blast, which took place in the bathroom of her hotel room at about 11:15 pm.

The victim’s husband, Max Mezezy, could be heard calling for an ambulance. He carried his injured wife, who was bleeding from wounds to her arms and legs, to a waiting van, which brought her to nearby Rangoon General Hospital. Mezezy and his two sons were unharmed.

The American family, only in Burma for a brief stay, had planned to return soon to Hong Kong, where they live.

According to police, the bomb was planted in the toilet of room 921. Although the blast tore apart the bathroom, blew out the room’s window and left ceiling panels hanging, the family’s two young sons, aged 5 and 7, said they did not hear anything, only waking to see their wounded mother lying on the floor.

Rangoon police and an army bomb disposal unit arrived within the hour and were carrying out an investigation.  Traders’ general manager Phillip Couvaras delivered what he called a “holding statement” at 2:35 am, saying a guest had been taken to the hospital, but “because this is an active police investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.”

The victim’s condition is currently unknown.

Since Friday, a series of bombs has exploded across Burma.  The explosion at Traders was the third explosion in Rangoon since Sunday. A bomb also exploded in Pegu Division on Friday, killing two people and injuring one. Two more explosive devices were found at restaurants in Rangoon and Mandalay on Monday, but did not detonate.

Burma is gearing up to host the 2013 Southeast Asia Games in early December and was recently appointed the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) for 2014.