Overland Park woman makes short trip back home after bombings in Sri Lanka

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Just over a week has passed since the bombings in Sri Lanka killed more than 200 people.

Two women from Overland Park were there during the attack. One of them made it home over the weekend.

“It never even crossed my mind that it would happen anywhere close to me,” Farrell said.

Kim Farrell and Mady Johnston Have been traveling the world since August. On what was their final day in Sri Lanka, eight bombs exploded.

“It was, you know, one bomb, and we kept looking and there was another and another,”  Farrell said.

The final one went off when Johnston was getting into a taxi to the airport in Colombo for a pre- planned midnight flight to Australia.

“I was more nervous about her going than my own safety,” Farrell said. “I knew she was driving past where some of the bombs had gone just from looking at Google maps.”

The route took Johnston past the several areas where bombs went off that morning.

“I definitely was nervous when we were getting closer to the airport,” Johnston said. “I was like looking on the map, and I could see all these explosions marked on the map and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.'”

Johnston said what was even more nerve-racking is friends invited her to wait for her flight at their nearby hotel, “but the hotel that they planned on going to was actually one of the ones that was bombed.”

People were either inside on curfew or trying to get out of the small Island country.

Johnston said 30 minutes after takeoff authorities found a 6-foot pipe bomb near the road leading to the airport.

“I think things really started to go into chaos mode then,” Johnston said. “So I feel extremely lucky to get out before that happened.”

Farrell planned to extend her trip in Sri Lanka with a visit from her mom, but they decided it best to come back home to Kansas City.

“I think there’s just still, you know, all that fear, even though me being home and closer to them doesn’t take it away. It’s just more of a comfort factor,” Farrell said.

Farrell and Johnston said this unforeseen experience won’t stop them from traveling.

“It’s a risk that we even take when we live here. You just never know,” Farrell said.

They also hope it won’t keep people from visiting one of their favorite countries thus far.

“I can totally see why people would be nervous to go visit there now,” Johnston said, “and it makes me so sad because I couldn’t have had a more amazing experience.”

Farrell and Johnston plan to make their way to Indonesia within the next two weeks. You can follow their journey at InKansasCity.com.

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