Briton confirmed among fatalities

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The Independent Online

A wealthy British businessman was among more than 100 people killed in a series of terrorist attacks in India, it emerged tonight.

Andreas Liveras, the founder of a luxury yacht business who was in his 70s, was pronounced dead on arrival at St George's Hospital in the city at 9.30pm local time last night, a spokesman for the hospital said.

Before his death, he had described the chaos in a telephone interview recorded as he and hundreds of others were still inside one of the buildings targeted by the terrorists.

"All we know is the bombs are next door and the hotel is shaking every time a bomb goes off. Everybody is just living on their nerves," he said.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said they were in contact with the victim's family but could not confirm the name.

More than seven other Britons were injured after gunmen opened fire on a series of civilian targets in the heart of Mumbai, India's financial capital, including two luxury hotels and a packed railway station.

One Briton who was shot during the attacks in Mumbai said today that she held her husband as he lost consciousness.

Diane Murphy, 58, from Northumberland, was shot in the foot when terrorists stormed the busy Leopold Cafe yesterday.

Her husband Michael, 59, took a bullet in the ribs. He has had his spleen removed after two operations and remains in intensive care.

Mrs Murphy, who is still in hospital, said: "All of a sudden there was automatic gunfire. The whole place fell apart.

"It was tremendously loud. My husband and I were hit, as were lots of people. Everybody was down on the ground. The gunfire stopped for a few seconds then started again.

"We had to wait - it seemed like an age - for the police to arrive. I stayed with my husband because I could tell he was seriously injured. He was losing consciousness."

Mrs Murphy, who lives near Hexham, said she and her husband were on holiday in India. The retired teachers had only been in Mumbai for one day when the terrorists struck. They were supposed to be leaving for Goa this morning before returning home on 9 December.

She said the Leopold Cafe had been "very busy" with about 100 people inside.

The British High Commissioner in India Sir Richard Stagg told the BBC: "We have visited most of the central hospitals where those injured have been taken and have met seven British victims who are in hospital at the moment and we understand there is likely to be some other injured of British nationality."

He refused to discuss the nature of their injuries and added that the nationality of the hostages held in the city was unknown though some were "foreign".

The Foreign Office emergency number for people worried about friends or relatives is 020 7008 0000.

The British Foreign Office has updated its travel advice to the region in light of the attacks. A statement on the department's website urges against all but essential travel to Mumbai.

Anyone living in the city should "stay indoors until local authorities advise it is safe to go outside," it urges.

Meanwhile, the government today flew out a rapid deployment team from London to help British officials on the ground. The team - set up to assist British nationals in emergency situations - includes two Red Cross emotional support officers.

The High Commission in Mumbai has also drafted in additional staff from New Delhi.