SYDNEY, Australia – Pushed along on wheelchairs or limping on bandaged legs, Australian survivors of the devastating Bali bomb attack arrived home Monday to tearful reunions with family and friends.
Rob Meredith, his right leg bandaged, reached Sydney on a special Qantas flight along with hundreds of others, many of whom fled the Bali nightclub before it was reduced to a burned-out shell around midnight Saturday.
"It was just a massive fireball," he said. "The roof came down and there were a few lucky people."
Like many who managed to escape, he scrambled over a wall behind the popular club after the huge bomb went off bringing the bar's ceiling crashing down and sparking a devastating blaze.
"It was amazing that anyone got out," he said. "It was terrifying, terrifying."
More than 800 travelers, on three specially chartered Qantas flights left Bali early Monday and began arriving in Sydney. Virtually all Australian survivors were expected to have left the island paradise by the end of the day.
Glenn Dubois, 46, his eye and one leg bandaged, was thrown to the ground by the blast and had to pull five or six bodies off him to get up and escape.
"Thank God, thank God, I'm alive," he said. "Everyone in front of me was dead."
He said there were likely up to 800 people in the bar, most of them Australians.
The attack, "was certainly aimed at the Aussies," he said. "It was probably an easy prime target for the extremist Islamic militants."
Others arrived in the western city of Perth. The most seriously injured were ferried to city hospitals in a fleet of ambulances.
Perth woman Robyn Thompsett said she and husband Vaughn were very happy to be home but horrified by the attack she believed deliberately targeted Australians.
"I really believe whoever did this made a concerted effort to hit at the heart of Australia because that's where our kids play."
The Sari Club is one of the most popular bars among the hundreds of thousands of Australians who visit Bali -- just a four-hour flight from Perth -- each year.
Andrew Miller, who escaped unscathed, was among the dazed travelers in Sydney questioning the motives of the bombers.
"Why did they do that?" he asked. "Whoever did that. It was a waste of human life."