Heartbroken Dad Found Bodies Of Wife, Daughter After Sri Lankan Church Bombing
Manik Suriaaratchi and her 10-year-old daughter Alexandria have been confirmed as the two Australian victims of the Easter Sunday attacks on Sri Lanka.
Now, their devastated husband and father, Sudesh Kolonne, has spoken of the moment he heard the bomb explode as he walked out of the church behind him.
Kolonne told 10 News First he had just walked outside at the end of the Easter service ahead of his family when he heard a "huge sound".
He immediately ran back into the church to look for his wife and daughter, searching for more than half an hour before finding their bodies among dozens of other victims on the floor.
His daughter was already dead when Kolonne found her, killed instantly by the impact from the blast. His wife was alive, but died on her way to hospital.
"I just took my daughter's hand in my hand," Kolonne recalled through tears.
I took my wife to the hospital, on the way she died in my hand.
Inside the funeral home, where their bodies now wait to be buried, cards and flowers from Alexandria's friends are propped up next to her body.
A soft toy, one of her favourites, is also by her side.
Kolonne said his daughter loved music, especially dancing.
"She loved the country Australia, she always wanted to go to Australia," he said.
"Because of me and my wife she stayed in Sri Lanka."
The funeral for Manik and Alexandria will be held on Tuesday afternoon, as mass memorials take place across the city for many of the other victims.
On Tuesday, police confirmed the death toll from the suicide bombings had now risen to 310 as a national day of mourning commenced across the nation.
Two other Australians were also injured in the attack.
Kolonne now faces the devastating reality of having to bury his wife and daughter just days after what was supposed to be a regular family visit to a sacred place for prayer.
"Just imagine the torture of having my wife die in my hand, how can I be OK?" he said.
"I don't know how to tolerate it".