Newlyweds injured in bomb blast

A SOUTH Yorkshire man and his wife are recovering from serious burns after being caught in a bomb blast while honeymooning in the Maldives.

Christian Donelan, aged 32, and new wife Jennifer, were holidaying on Baros - one of the idyllic Maldives isles - when the bomb exploded on Saturday.

Jennifer suffered 40 per cent burns and Christian 27 per cent, but both are expected to make a full recovery.

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A device detonated outside the crowded Sultan Park in the capital, Male which they were visiting on a day trip.

Mr and Mrs Donelan, who live in Qatar in the Gulf, were among 12 tourists hurt. Other casualties were Chinese and Japanese.

Mr Donelan, originally from Rotherham, has undergone surgery for burns to his arms and legs but has managed to phone family and friends from his hospital bed.

He told 45-year-old Rotherham friend Tim Bullyment he was lucky to be alive: "Christian sounded really rough but said he was lucky to be alive.

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"Everyone was shocked to learn they had been caught up in this but relieved they have survived."

Mr Donelan is known as an accomplished sportsman and played hockey for Rotherham Hockey Club before moving abroad. The former St Bernards School pupil, who went on to study sport at Leeds Carnegie University, works as a security consultant.

He was on honeymoon with his wife, originally from Wigan, after marrying in Italy two weeks ago.

The pair met at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002 where they were both working as event organisers. They then worked in Turin on the 2006 Olympic Games before moving to Quatar last year.

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"They go in as part of the team that sets up the whole games, organising a security structure," said Mr Bullyment.

The Maldives government said the pair suffered 'significant burns but were now stable and out of danger'.

A Rotherham Hockey Club spokesman said: "Christian came through our youth system and played a high standard of adult field hockey. He has many friends here and keeps us informed of what he's up to, including recently being sent to watch international hockey on behalf of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games.

Seven arrests have been made and an investigation is underway to establish a motive. The Maldives government says it is too early to say if the bomb was targeted at tourists

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