Bombs explode at two hotels in Jakarta’s business district

At least nine people were killed and dozens injured when explosions ripped through two hotels in Jakarta’s business district on Friday (July 17).

The explosions occurred in the early morning at JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton. A car bomb also exploded in the city killing two more people, according to reports.

Suspicion has fallen on the radical group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), with links to al-Qaeda, which was responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings when over 200 people died.

The attacks come just after the Indonesian presidential elections.

The Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton were said to be among the most secure hotels in Jakarta.

Neil Irwin, client development leader at Marsh, commented: ‘Businesses need to ensure they meet their obligations to protect those who are travelling on behalf of their organisations. Staff caught in an emergency situation overseas need to have clear information, guidance and specialist support mechanisms to call upon. Businesses can do a lot to help their staff stay safe – and have a duty of care to do so.’

Marsh recommended the following advice for business travellers overseas:

On signing in to accommodation, do not disclose your occupation, position or company

Ask for a room on floors 2 to 10 but not adjacent to any roofs

Check security of the door and that there is a safe in the room

Read the safety procedures and check the emergency escape routes

Identify safe areas you can go to if any emergency occurs

Plan your route before leaving accommodation

Avoid unofficial gatherings or demonstrations

Carry a copy of passport, flight tickets, emergency help numbers and a mobile phone with you at all times

Be alert: you can often identify a developing situation at an early stage. It is better to react quickly and avoid the danger rather than wait until it develops and have to fight your way out.