reality tv

'We hear this kaboom'. I'm a Celebrity's Dermott Brereton's tragic close call with 2002 Bali bombings.

On Wednesday night’s episode of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! AFL legend Dermott Brereton told his campmates about his close call with the 2002 Bali bombings.

Brereton and a group of mates were in Bali for a surfing trip at the time of the bombings, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians.

Brereton told his I’m A Celebrity campmates that during this trip, they made friends with a 23-year-old American girl called Karri Casner.

“We had a great time with her, she was there and had been backpacking through Asia. Lovely girl,” he said. “Every night we would go to the Sari Club – and I mean every night.”

On the evening of October 12, the date of the bombings, Brereton and his friends had a red-eye flight out of Bali.

They planned one last stop at the Sari Club, but their driver said he would only take them directly to the airport, otherwise he would leave their bags outside the club while they went in. Brereton and his friends decided to go straight to their flight, and said goodbye to Casner.

“We went out for dinner, took Karri with us and at about 10:30pm one of the guys said, ‘We’ve got to go’,” Brereton explained.

“We pulled up to the Sari club around quarter to or ten to 11 and said goodbye to Karri – swapped emails and whatever. We go on towards the airport, drive about 500 metres down the road, turn left at the corner, hear this kaboom and go, ‘What was that?’. Nothing, then another lesser explosion.”

Not realising what had happened, the group continued on to the airport to catch their flight.

Once they landed in Melbourne, media were there to tell him about the bombings and ask about his experience.


“I got off the plane and of course the media’s gone through all the lists. They stop me and go, ‘Right, did you see it?’ And I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, I wonder if Karri’s alright?'”

Brereton emailed Casner using the address she’d given him to check on her and two days later received a reply. But it wasn’t from her – it was from her dad.

“Hello, I don’t know who you are. My name is William. I’m trying to get in touch with my daughter in Bali,” he wrote.

Once he arrived in Bali, William once again emailed Brereton to ask if he had any identifying details about Karri that could help him find her.

“I said, ‘She showed me her ring, she had a great big turquoise stone in it’,” Breteton said.

“I get this third email that comes back a day later and he said, ‘Thank you. I went back to the morgue. I flicked through half a dozen files and one of them was the girl with the turquoise ring’.”

Brereton said he and his friends decided to write a kind of diary for Karri’s dad that would show him all the great things his daughter had been up to before her death.

“Thereafter, myself and my mates got together and wrote an endless script of her last couple of days,” he said. “What we did, where she went. How much fun we had. What she ate, what her last meal was… we filled in every blank for every minute.”

Brereton told his campmates that he has kept in contact with Karri’s family and has an open invitation to visit them in the US.

And that turquoise ring? Karri’s sister now wears that around her neck.