A Bali bombing survivor is speaking out for the first time since the attack that killed her mother

Among the 88 Australians killed by Bali bombings in 2002, five mothers were on holiday with their teenage daughters.

The teenagers survived the deadly blast only because they were at the back of the Sari club when the second bomb went off.

Ashleigh Airlie was 14 years old when her mother Gayle was killed in the terrorist attack.

Now, 20 years later, she tells her story for the first time.

Ashleigh Airlie was 14 years old when her mother Gayle was killed in the terrorist attack in Bali.
Ashleigh Airlie was 14 years old when her mother Gayle was killed in the terrorist attack in Bali. (Nine)

“When I think about it, that’s the last place I felt good with my mom,” Ashleigh, now 34, told 9News.

“It was the last place we had fun and she had the time of her life.”

It was peak party time in the clubs of Kuta, and just two days before Ashleigh’s 15th birthday, when terrorists began their coordinated attack.

The first explosion was in Paddy’s Bar and it sent a crowd of survivors running into the street. A short time later, the second, much larger car bomb went off outside Sari.

Among the 88 Australians killed in the 2002 Bali bombings were five mothers on holiday with their teenage daughters.  Ashleigh Airlie was 14 years old when her mother Gayle was killed in the terrorist attack.
It was party time in Kuta clubs and just two days before Ashleigh’s 15th birthday when terrorists launched their coordinated attack that killed her mother. (Nine)

“All the kids were a little more in the back. And the parents were a little more in the front … but they were obviously closer to the front where the bomb went off,” Ashleigh said.

She remembers being thrown backwards when the explosion hit.

“It was almost like I didn’t know it had happened and then the next minute I was on the floor. And the roof was on top of my head.

“And it was just really dark and could just feel somebody’s leg in front of me and I just grabbed their leg and just kept going.”

Ashleigh Airlie was 14 when she survived the Bali bombs – now she tells her story for the first time. (9 news)

The teenager managed to escape the burning club, but out on the street the shock set in.

“We were running down this lane that was full of shrapnel and glass and I could barely walk because my feet were cut and we were just standing in the street screaming for our mothers.”

Among the 88 Australians killed in the 2002 Bali bombings were five mothers on holiday with their teenage daughters.  Ashleigh Airlie was 14 years old when her mother Gayle was killed in the terrorist attack.
Among the 88 Australians killed in the 2002 Bali bombings were five mothers on holiday with their teenage daughters, including Gayle Airlie. (Nine)

The five mothers who teamed up for the holiday with their daughters – Gayle Airlie, Gerardine Buchan, Catherine Seelin, Kathy Salvatori and Lynette McKeon – never made it home.

“It never gets better,” Ashleigh said.

“Grief is constantly changing and evolving and now that I have a daughter it’s a completely different grief and I miss so many different parts of my mother that I didn’t even realize before.”

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