Among the hundreds of people killed in the explosions that rocked Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday were a Danish billionaire’s three children and a fifth-grade boy who studied at the same U.S. school that former President Barack Obama’s daughters attended.
At least 359 people died and 500 others were injured when multiple bombs exploded in churches and hotels in and around Colombo, the capital of the South Asian island country, officials said. The terrorist attack, believed to be carried out by an Islamist militant group, was the deadliest violence to hit Sri Lanka since the civil war ended a decade ago, according to the Associated Press.
At least four Americans were among the dead, a State Department spokesperson told TIME on Monday. Officials have identified about 30 other victims who hailed from other nations, including India, China and Denmark, according to the AP.
These are some of the victims of the Easter attacks:
Zayan Chowdhury, the 8-year-old grandson of a prominent Bangladeshi politician, was killed in the attack, according to the Daily Star. Chowdhury’s family was on vacation at time; they were guests at one of the hotels that was targeted by the bombings.
Chowdhury is the grandson of Sheikh Selim, a Bangladeshi member of parliament. Chowdhury’s father was also injured in the blast.
The Star reported that Chowshury’s body will be sent back to Bangladesh on Wednesday.
Manik Suriaaratchi and her daughter
Australian entrepreneur Manik Suriaaratchi and her 10-year-old daughter, Alexendria, were killed at St. Sebastian’s Catholic Church in Negombo.
Suriaaratchi’s husband, Sudesh Kolonne, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he walked out of the church ahead of his family moments before the blast.
“I just saw my daughter on the floor and I tried to lift her up, [but] she was already dead. And [then] exactly the same… next my wife is there,” Kolonne told the channel.
The family had moved to Sri Lanka from Melbourne in 2014, after Suriaaratchi started a consultancy business, Kolonne said. They attended mass at the church every Sunday.
Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa
Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa, a fifth-grade boy who loved learning, was killed in the Sri Lanka bombings, according to the New York Times and the Washington Post. He was a student at Sidwell Friends—an elite private school in Washington D.C.—but was on a leave of absence and living in Sri Lanka, the news outlets reported, citing a letter the school sent to parents.
“Kieran was passionate about learning, he adored his friends and he was incredibly excited about returning to Sidwell Friends,” the letter said, according to the Times. “We are beyond sorry not to get the opportunity to welcome Kieran to the Middle School.”
Malia and Sasha Obama both graduated from Sidwell.
During mass, Fernando took a seat at the back of the church with his son, while his wife and two daughters sat near the front. After the blast, the Times reported Fernando’s son ran toward his mother screaming, “Father is there!”
The family carried Fernando’s body outside and brought him to an ambulance. He died at a hospital.
Dieter Kowalski, a 40-year-old Wisconsin native, was in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for a work trip when he was killed in one of the explosions, according to his family and his employer.
Kowalski’s mother, Inge Kowalski, told the Times her son was excited to arrive in Sri Lanka, where he was “looking forward to the food.” “He was a happy guy,” she said. “We are all in shock.”
Kowalski—who was a senior leader for the education publishing company, Pearson—died moments after arriving at his hotel, Pearson CEO John Fallon said in a statement.
Fallon described Kowalski as a positive team player who was happy to jump in and solve problems within the company.
“Colleagues who knew Dieter well talk about how much fun he was to be around, how big-hearted and full-spirited he was,” Fallon said. “Dieter, they tell me, was never happier than cheerleading for our customers and our company and inspiring people in the best way he knew how – by helping them to fix things and doing it with joy, happiness and grace.”
The Pirathap Family
Auto-rickshaw driver K. Pirathap, 38, his wife, Anashdi, 35, and their two daughters, Antinaa, 7, and Abriyaana, 1, were killed while attending mass at St. Anthony’s Shrine.
Pirathap’s brother, K. Wimalendran, tried calling him after he heard about the blast, but couldn’t get through, Wimalendran told the New York Times .
After failing to locate them at a nearby hospital, Wimalendran went to the church and found the family’s bodies lined up outside.
Rui Lucas, a 31-year-old Portuguese man spending his honeymoon in Sri Lanka, was killed at the Kinsbury Hotel, Jornal de Notícias reported.
Lucas was an employee at T &T Mulielectrica, a company which provides electricity, solar energy and central heating services, company founder Augusto Teixeira told Jornal Do Centro.
Luxas and his wife had only been married for about a week, Teixeira said.
“He was a person with a huge heart, a great friend,” Teixeira said.
Lucas’s widow has asked for help from the Portuguese government in order to return home without delay, Jornal Do Centro reported.
Three children of Anders Holch Povlsen
Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen lost three children in the Sri Lanka bombings, a spokesman for one of his companies confirmed to TIME in a statement. The children’s names and ages are still unclear. In the statement, Bestseller spokesperson Jesper Stubkier did not identify the three children and declined to comment further.
Povlsen and his wife reportedly have four children, according to Danish media reports.
Holch Povlsen is the owner of the Bestseller clothing company and the largest shareholder of the international fashion retailer ASOS, according to The Guardian.
Shantha Mayadunne and her daughter
Shantha Mayadunne, a local celebrity chef in Sri Lanka with her own television cooking show, and her daughter, Nisanga Mayadunne, were killed in the deadly bombings in Sri Lanka, according to the Guardian and CNN. The mother and daughter were reportedly at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo when a bomb went off.
The family of Anusha Kumari
Anusha Kumari lost her husband, son, daughter and two nieces in the blast during Easter mass at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, according to the Associated Press.
The family members were buried Wednesday on vacant plot of land that was allocated for victims of the attack.
“You won’t believe it, but I had the perfect family,” Kumari said. “In 24 years of marriage, my husband and I never argued. All four of us slept in the same room. Now I have lost everything.”
Kumari and other members of her extended family were injured in the blast. Kumari wore a bandage over her right eye to the funeral; shrapnel was still embedded in her face.
Japanese national Kaori Takahashi was having breakfast with her family at the Shangri-La Hotel when the bomb exploded there, according to national broadcaster NHK.
After three attempted surgeries, Takahashi died of her injuries on Sunday evening, Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reports.
Takashi had moved to Sri Lanka in the summer of 2015 with her husband. Her daughter was born in November later that year, and she had a son in February 2018.
Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus
Turkish nationals Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus, both engineers working in Sri Lanka, were also killed in the blasts, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed Sunday. Narici’s father said his son had lived in Sri Lanka for two and a half years, after previously working in Afghanistan and Mauritania.
“He sent me a WhatsApp message … saying ‘Good Morning'”, said Narici’s father, according to the BBC. “That was the last I heard from him.”
Cavus graduated from the Istanbul Technical University with honors, and was described by his father as a “brilliant child” who spoke two languages.
Dutch national Monique Allen was in Sri Lanka on a holiday with her husband and one of her sons. The family was staying at the Cinnamon Grand.
“[My son] blacked out for a few minutes and he woke up and saw his mother with a big head wound and lots of blood,” Allen’s husband Lewis told the BBC.
Anita Nicholson and her two children
Anita Nicholson, a 42-year-old lawyer from the U.K. and a resident of Singapore, was killed in the attacks along with her 14-year-old son, Alex, and 11-year-old daughter, Annabel. The three were in line for breakfast at the Shangri-La Hotel when the suicide bomb detonated.
Ben Nicholson, the only member of his family to survive the violence, recalled his wife as a “brilliant, loving and inspirational mother,” and said his children were “talented and thoughtful.”
“They shared with their mother the priceless ability to light up any room they entered,” Nicholson said in a statement, according to the Guardian.
Bill Harrop and Sally Bradley
Bill Harrop and Sally Bradley, a retired firefighter and a doctor respectively, were on a vacation at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel at the time of the blasts. The couple was among the eight U.K. nationals believed to have been killed in the Easter attacks.
The Manchester pair were living in living in Perth, Western Australia, where Sally was practicing medicine, according to the Telegraph.
“Their aim was always to experience life to the fullest. Kindred spirits they travelled the world together, safe in each other’s arms and with smiles across their faces,” the family said in a statement.
- Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Her Fight for Abortion Access in Michigan
- Inside the War on Fake Consumer Reviews
- Column: Europe's Refugee Crisis Is Going to Get Worse
- How Lawmakers Are Trying to Protect Abortion Data Privacy
- The Surprising Thing That Could Help Ease Inflation
- Finding the American Dream in Canada
- The Safest Sunscreens to Buy—and Which Ingredients to Avoid
- Fact-Checking 8 Claims About Crypto’s Climate Impact
- How Grief Upsets Your Gut Health
- Who Could Replace Boris Johnson As U.K. Prime Minister?