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Bardo survivor pair hid in cleaning cupboard

Fiona Govan · 20 Mar 2015, 11:06

Published: 20 Mar 2015 11:06 GMT+01:00

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Newlyweds Juan Carlos Sánchez Benlloch and Cristina Rubio Oltra were not located until Thursday morning after taking refuge in the store room at the start of the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 20 tourists including a retired Spanish couple and three Tunisians.

The young couple, from Sueca in Valencia, were on a cruise for their honeymoon following their wedding on  March 8th and were visiting the museum on Wednesday after their ship docked in Tunis.

Cristina, a nurse, is four months pregnant with her first child and has reportedly said that she will name the child Tunis in gratitude at having survived.

The pair were discovered hiding out in the cleaning cupboard by police on Thursday and described how they had taken refuge there when they heard gunshots and shouting in Arabic, according to a report in El Pais.

The had been hidden there by a museum employee and remained in the storeroom long after the hostage crisis was resolved because they didn’t know what was going on.

It has been a tense time for their family as they were reported missing on Wednesday when they failed to return to the cruise ship. Although consular staff assured their family that they were not among the dead or injured, it was feared they may have been taken by kidnappers.

A number of calls were also made to their cellphones, but the couple had switched them off due to fear of them giving away their location, El Pais reported.




The minister of health for Tunisia told the local radio that the couple and their unborn child were in good health. “The couple are expecting a baby,” he told a Tunisian radio station. “They promised to call it Tunis.”

Meanwhile further details emerged about the Spanish victims of Wednesday´s attack, a retired couple from Catalonia who were on a cruise to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Story continues below…

Antonio Cirera Pérez, 75, and Dolores Sánchez Rami, 73, were sent on the cruise by their two sons as an anniversary present. La Vanguardia reported that it was their first trip outside Spain.

Their bodies are due to be repatriated to Spain on Friday afternoon.



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Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

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