Bali, October 14, 2002. Indonesian police stand guard amongst the debri in Kuta Beach after the  bombing of two popular bars in which many Australian's were killed.
Bali, October 14, 2002. Indonesian police stand guard amongst the debri in Kuta Beach after the bombing of two popular bars in which many Australian's were killed. DEAN LEWINS

Bali wounds still raw 10 years after devastating bombing

TEN years may have passed but it does not get any easier for Hervey Bay's Troy Ignatenko - far from it.

He can still see the carnage as if it was yesterday.

The sound of people screaming, the sight of those covered in blood, and those poor souls beyond help ... the smell of death and destruction after the Bali bombings is something he will never forget.

Being just 500m from the bomb blast that ripped apart the Sari Nightclub 10 years ago today will always ensure that.

The bombs ripped through the packed Paddy's Bar and the Sari just after 11pm claiming the lives of 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Ignatenko and nine of his Hervey Bay Bombers Australian Rules Club teammates were the lucky ones ... it could have easily been them.

The players were enjoying an end-of-season tour to the tourist island and had been partying for two nights at the Sari, including the night before the one that changed so many families forever.

They had intended to go back there that fateful night, but a liking for Bundaberg Rum, which the Sari did not stock, saw them head to the Hard Rock Cafe 500m away. It proved to be the difference between life and death.

After the bombs had ripped the heart out of Kuta, Ignatenko said he and his mates headed back to the safety of their hotel.

He'll never forget the sight that greeted them when they got there.

"It was horrific ... it's something that I will never forget," Ignatenko said.

"The foyer was filled with people badly burnt, screaming and covered in blood - it was something words cannot truly describe the horror of."

Now all these years later, Ignatenko said the pain and suffering he saw still lives with him.

"I have tried so hard to forget it, but just can't ... how can you?" he said.

"The post I had been leaning on is in some of the photos of the debris of the Sari.

"It could have been me. It could have been me.

"Something was working in our favour. There is no doubt about that and thank God for it."

 

Ignatenko has been back to Bali twice since, once for business (he imports clothing), and once for a family holiday.

The business trip, which was five years after the bombings, lasted just three days.

"I had to get out of there. The pain was still too raw and I was also very nervous," he said.

"Saying that, I went back three years later and it was OK, but I know it will never be the same.

"I wish I could turn back time and wipe out the horror of that night. I am sure that I am not alone in thinking that."



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