Australia's Ambassador To Turkey Shielded 12-Year-Old Daughter Metres Away From Ankara Bomb

14/03/2016 8:42 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Fairfax: STR

When a car bomb exploded in Ankara overnight, Australia's Ambassador to Turkey James Larson was metres away, driving his 12-year-old daughter home from a horse riding lesson.

Ambassador Larson was fortunate to come out of the incident without injury, unlike 120 others. More than 30 people also lost their lives in the explosion which the Turkish government is blaming on Kurdish separatists.

"I was with my young 12-year-old daughter. We were just driving through the centre of Ankara coming back from a horse riding lesson actually," Ambassador Larson said on The 7:30 Report on Monday night.

"To get back home you go through the main centre of Ankara. It's very much like going through Elizabeth Street in Sydney or one of the major thoroughfares in Melbourne.

"We were stationary at some traffic lights and the explosion took place just across the other side of the traffic lights.

james larson

Australia's Ambassador to Turkey James Larson

"I said to my daughter 'Make sure you put your head down low in the car on the floor' so she was away from any glass.

Instead of evacuating straight away, the Ambassador immediately went into work mode.

"I moved the car to the side of the roadway and called the office to make sure that we initiated our crisis procedures," Ambassador Larson told Leigh Sales.

"So of course we make sure that all Australian and Turkish staff of the embassy are accounted for and we start the process of contacting hospitals and security services to make sure that we have early notice of any Australians who might be affected."

No Australians have been reported killed or injured by the suicide bomb in Kizilay Square in Turkey's capital on Sunday.

On Monday morning, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Ambassador was "slightly shaken" by the "deeply worrying" attack.

"Until we can stamp out terrorism in all its forms, these kind of attacks will continue," Minister Bishop said.

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