British students report the horror of death and rape.
THE EARLY MORNING BLASTS were a few miles south of the French Quarter and jolted residents awake. The extent of any possible damage was not immediately known.
The explosions came as British students caught up in the horror of Hurricane Katrina spoke of their four days of "hell" at the New Orleans Superdome.
They described how their place of refuge descended into a scene of terror as people ran wild with knives and guns, used crack cocaine and hurled racial abuse.
Tourists, meanwhile, were turned out of hotels to face terror on the streets. Debbie Durso of Washington, Michigan, said she asked a police officer for assistance and his response was, "Go to hell - it's every man for himself."
Up to 30 British students huddled among the thousands in the Superdome were forced to set up a makeshift security cordon to fend off abusive locals.
Jamie Trout, 22, an economics student from Sunderland, kept a record of his terrifying ordeal. He wrote: "It was like something out of Lord of the Flies - one minute everything is calm and civil, the next it descends into chaos. A man has been arrested for raping a seven-year-old in the toilet, this place is hell."
Jamie, who had been coaching football to disabled children as part of the Camp America scheme, said people were shouting racial abuse at the Britons because they were white.
Zoe Smith, 21, from Hull, told how students set up a security cordon when the power briefly went down in the Superdome amid fears they were going to be attacked. "All us girls sat in the middle while the boys sat on the outside, with chairs as protection," she said.