Gladstone woman waits for news of missing family

BRISBANE,(AAP)- A Gladstone resident has become entangled in the aftermath of the south east Asian tsunami tragedy.

Thai-born Suni O'Brien has 17 family members missing in the Thai resort island of Phuket, which was hit hard by the tsunami.

The tragedy has divided the friends and families of those caught in its path into two distinct camps - the fortunate and the not so fortunate - Mrs O'Brien is one of the latter Mrs O'Brien, who lives in Gladstone with Australian husband Trevor, said she was beside herself with grief with most of her extended family likely dead. Among the 17 members missing are her mother, sister, uncles, niece and cousins. "One thing I want is I want to see my Mum's body,'' said Mrs O'Brien. "But I don't know because all the area has been cleaned up and there's nothing left.'' On the fortunate side is a Gold Coast family whose teenaged son escaped the tsunami wave by running up a mountain. Stephen Carroll, 18, was sleeping in his motel room on Phuket when a friend noticed the wave forming out at sea. "A friend of his actually noticed that something wasn't quite right and went and woke up Stephen in his room because he was still in bed,'' said dad Brian Carroll from his Gold Coast home.

Stephen ran outside, over cut glass, and up a nearby mountain, phoning his father during the dash to safety. "He just started yelling some stuff at me and said basically there's a tidal wave after me and I'm running for my life,'' said Mr Carroll. Stephen stayed up the mountain for several hours, until the wave had subdued.

He then descended to the scene of devastation below. He arrives home today



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