National athlete, Singaporeans caught up in aftermath of Istanbul terror attack

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Singapore athlete Dipna Lim-Prasad, 25, arrived at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport just 30 minutes after the attacks on Tuesday night.

Three assailants armed with bombs and guns had attacked Turkey's largest airport around 9pm (2am Singapore time). The attacks left at least 36 people dead and another 147 wounded, said international reports.

The national sprinter and her coach were transiting in Istanbul en route to Singapore on a Turkish Airlines flight from Portugal.

She told The New Paper: “I still felt quite safe because we were separated from the whole thing as we were still in the plane. If I were in the terminal when it happened, I would probably freak out.”

Ms Lim-Prasad added:"I think (family and friends in Singapore) were more worried about us because all they saw were the scary pictures (online). There were a lot of 'are you ok?' and 'where are you?' texts, and they also sent me links to articles (on the attacks)." 

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said in a statement, that most of the registered Singaporeans in Istanbul have been contacted and the ministry will continue to contact the remaining.

There were no reports of any Singaporeans injured or directly affected by the incident, he said.

Another Singaporean, commodity trader Chiam Yan Wen, 27, arrived at Ataturk Airport six hours after the attacks while en route to London.

The pilot on Ms Chiam’s flight had told the passengers about the attacks over the PA system.

“Everyone exchanged looks of confusion when they heard the captain mention a bombing at Ataturk. It was unsettling at first, and the only information we got on the flight was from CNN,” she said.

Get the full story the print edition of The New Paper (Thursday, June 30).

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