10 Aug 2013

Zanzibar acid attack victim tweets thanks to supporters

One of the teenagers attacked with acid in Zanzibar has thanked supporters for their good wishes, as it emerges that efforts to help one of the two victims made her injuries worse.

Zanzibar acid attack: victim tweets thanks to supporters

Katie Gee took to Twitter to say: “Thank you for all your support x”.

The student sent the message from Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London where she and her friend Kirstie Trup, both 18, were receiving treatment for their burns inflicted in an unprovoked attack while they were on a volunteering holiday.

The pair arrived back in the country on Friday and were transferred to the capital’s regional burns centre.

On Friday, the girls’ families released an image showing the injuries that one of them suffered in the attack. One of the girl’s injuries are much worse than the other’s, it was reported, because helpers used dirty water on her burns.

Ms Trup’s father, Marc, said: “One is much worse than the other. One of the girl’s injuries will take quite a while.”

They were throwing dirty water at her Marc Trup

One of the victims was reportedly immersed in the sea in the aftermath of the attack at Stone Town, a beach resort, and the salt water helped her skin.

“That completely altered the result: the salt water and the acid,” Mr Trup said. “The other girl panicked, ran around, made her way to a public toilet.”

When “they got to medical centre there was no shower,” he added. “They were throwing dirty water at her.”

Five men are being questioned by police on the Indian Ocean island after the women were attacked by men on a motorbike as they walked along a road on Wednesday night.


Mkadam Khamis, regional police commissioner on Zanzibar, told the Daily Telegraph: “There are five people we have, all men, who we are interrogating over this matter this morning.

“They have not yet been arrested. They are co-operating and answering our questions.

“Later today maybe there will be a development legally.”

The young women, from north London, were enjoying the last week of a trip as volunteer teachers to the predominantly Muslim island when the corrosive substance was thrown at them in an apparently unprovoked attack.

They were flown to the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam for treatment before being released.

Zanzibar is an archipelago of islands in the Indian Ocean about 22 miles off the mainland. The semi-autonomous region of Tanzania is predominantly Muslim and has been the scene of some religious violence in recent years.

Earlier this year two Christian leaders were killed and in November a cleric was treated in hospital after an acid attack.

The attack happened in the Stone Town area of Zanzibar’s eponymous capital city.

i-to-i Travel, the company the girls used to volunteer abroad, said today: “We welcome the proactive investigations being carried out by local authorities in Zanzibar and continue to liaise with them.

“We have been in contact with all of our customers who remain in Zanzibar and provided them all with a copy of our recommended safety measures from their pre-tour safety guide and advised them to remain vigilant during the remainder of their stay.

“We also recommend they refer to the FCO advice.

“Customers due to arrive into Zanzibar this weekend have been given the option to volunteer at an alternative project and all have chosen to continue to travel to Tanzania.”