Friday, August 13, 2010
Bogota blast shakes iReporters out of bed

Man looks out shattered apartment window

alexkahn13 and his roommate were fast asleep on Thursday morning when a powerful car bomb exploded about half a block away from their apartment in Bogota, Colombia.


"I was rocked from my bed by a heavy blast that reverberated for three or four seconds. Screams and shattering glass lasted for another 15 seconds," he said in an email to CNN.


The documentary filmmaker from New Jersey said his first instinct was to take cover because he feared another attack. His second reaction was to grab his Sony Handicam and start filming. His footage is raw and dramatic and captured their shock as they saw the devastation in their neighborhood.


"The general atmosphere was so bizarre to me...kind of like a New York night the first day it snows. Nobody was overly upset or even surprised, but rather curious, as if they hadn't seen this happen in a while and they were eager to see what was up," he said.


Emergency crews survey damage


lauralbornoz thought it was an earthquake when her bed started shaking and the noise outside. Then she assumed it must have been a car crash. She said she didn't realize the extent of the damage until she looked out her shattered window and saw emergency crews standing around the debris and broken glass.


We appreciate alexkahn13 and lauralbornoz sharing their stories and we're glad they're okay. No one was killed in the blast, but nine people were hurt. If news happens near you, let us know , but please be careful and don't put yourself in a dangerous situation.

August 13, 2010
Click to view loraloca's profile


August 13, 2010

Good story and I'm happy that no one got hurt, but why were they in Bogota in the first place? A bombing can always be expected there. It's just not a good place to be.

August 14, 2010
Click to view dcarvy's profile

PenWinslow, while Bogota may not be the safest city in the world neither are US cities like Detroit and Philly, plus your comments are totally off base and belittle a beautiful metropolis. Using the same logic, why would any American send their kids to school in the US when something similar to the tragedy at Columbine "is to be expected". At the end of the 90's and for some years into the next decade there were lots of bombs in many Colombian cities, but things are much better (look at the Colombian stock market and the amount of foreign capital poring in and the cruise ships stopping in Cartagena if you don't believe me) which is why in 2010 Lonely Planet named Colombia 3# on their top destinations for tourists. People with your backwards attitude perpetuate a stereotype which severely hurts an amazing country.

August 14, 2010
Click to view RobMcL's profile

Dcarvy, very well said. Unfortunately, I don't blame PenWinslow as he represents what is currently wrong with the US education system (another story). I've been very fortunate to travel the world (including Colombia) which has helped me get a different perspective of what we are tought in the States or read throughout the many media outlets. I found Colombia to be a beautiful country and proud people. Bogota was a great city and now, throughout the last 10 years, has become an even more beatiful, great city. But PenWinslow's saying that it is not a good place to be really demonstrates that he has not even traveled outside his own state. Not traveling to Colombia because of its past drug related bombings is like not traveling to England because of its history of IRA bombings; not traveling to Spain because of its history of ETA bombings; not traveling to the US because of its off-the-charts' crime rate, numerous child abductions, US bombings (Oklahoma city, abortion clinics, 1996 Olympic games @ ATL), planes crashing into buildings, serial killers, highshool shootings (Columbine), etc .... I'm sure anyone reading this gets the point.

August 14, 2010
Click to view jojidavis's profile

Dcarvy & RobMcL: Totally agree with both of your comments. When I first arrived to the USA through NYC, I was immediately disappointed as the so-called power country was nothing but old buildings with graffiti, garbage everywhere, the smell of urine that travels through the air in hot summer days and homeless people on every other block. Not to mentioned all the drug pushers that are a fixture in Union Square and 42nd street. Then I started doing some homework on what school district was better for my child, that’s where the horrible stomach pain started to set in. I have travel extensively throughout the USA and realized that this type of problems exist in every metropolis.


While, yes I do agree that Bogota has had its share of terrorists, what name do you give to kids and youth that look and act like street thugs who beat up their teachers and blow each other heads with guns and riffles in their own schools? I guess hence the name “America land of the Free”…


August 14, 2010
Click to view teffy1992's profile



I tell you that, all this story is just someone who has a small mind that say that nobody was surprised or upset in Bogota, because that's wrong, it's a bomb, how this person can say that kind of things?? this person is mad, I'm sorry, I've been rude, but Colombia is the most beautiful country I've been and is not the safest, but that doesn't mean people can't go and live there, also, I think US is not a good place to be, people just make bad stories about other countries, and if you're foreigner they can treat you very bad, specially police, that's what they've told me, and I can judge, but I won't, I haven't been in the US and I can't say is not a good place to be... please stop saying that kind of things about colombians, they're not criminals!! they have problems as all the countries in the world, but is not all the people that live there! it was a bomb, and off course people was surprised and upset, if you look on the bbc news, and other pages you will notice that the president asked people to calm down and continue with their normal activities... I ask to cnn news, and the person that invent this story, please more respect with the things that happen in the world, they are not an entertainment, is people that are in dangerous... is not a joke! so is not true that people wasn't suprised! I know that, people wasn't eager that something like this could happen!! maybe the ones who sent this story were eager to see something like this and confirmed all that things that people say about colombia! but you don't know what people say about the americans, and America!! so please more respect!

August 14, 2010
Click to view 1314's profile

that suks but let me tell you one thing im from a place called valle hermoso mexico just outside of matamoros matamoros is just outside brownsville texas usa last week the drug cartels detonated a car bomb a month ago they did in juares just across from el paso but anyways one of my friends was thelling me that they caught some arabs working with the cartels  just outside the us my cuestion is when is the president obama goin to decide to help mexico not with money because itll end up on the mafias hands but with military aid our towns really need it people there live in fear

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