The terrified victims of a brutal acid attack in Zanzibar arrive at Tanzania's airport, shrouded in blankets to shield their injured bodies. The father of one victim released a statement saying "the photos I've seen are horrendous. The level of burns are beyond imagination." NBC's Rohit Kachroo reports.
LONDON -- Two British teenagers who were the victims of an acid attack while volunteering on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar suffered burns that are "beyond imagination," according to one of their fathers.
Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee were due to arrive Friday back in London, where they will continue their recovery after receiving burns on their faces, hands, legs, backs and necks.
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Kirstie Trup, 18, was "inconsolable" following an acid attack, her father told The Times newspaper.
The 18-year-olds, who were volunteering as teachers on the majority Muslim island, were accosted by two men riding a motorcycle late Wednesday, who then poured acid on them.
A police official told Britain's Telegraph newspaper that five men were being questioned in connection with the attack early Friday.
“They have not yet been arrested," Zanzibar Urban West regional police commander Mkadam Khamis Mkadam said. "They are cooperating and answering our questions."
Speaking to the Telegraph, Gee's father Jeremy said his family was "absolutely devastated."
He added: "The photographs that I have seen are absolutely horrendous. The level of the burns are beyond imagination."
Trup’s father Marc told The Times newspaper that the teens were “inconsolable” after the attack and had barely been able to speak when a passerby lent them a cell phone to call home. The Times featured a photo of both teens taken just before they left on the trip as the main image on its front page Friday.
“We couldn’t get anything out of them because they had been burnt," he added. "Both girls are very shocked and very frightened."
Marc Trup added that his daughter "can still see and she is not dead," adding: "Whatever it is, we will cope with it."
“The girls weren't doing anything wrong," he added. "They were fully covered and had long sleeves on."
Gee’s mother, Nicky, told The Telegraph that the girls had been working for Art in Tanzania, an educational organization.
One of the two British teenage victims of an acid attack disembarks from a vehicle at the airport in Zanzibar.
“They were dressed appropriately," she added.
According to her Facebook page, Katie Gee had been assaulted during her time in Zanzibar.
“A Muslim woman just hit me in the street for singing on Ramadan,” she wrote on July 24. “Is that normal?”
Jakaya Kikwete, the president of Tanzania, visited the teens in hospital yesterday.
“This attack is a shame on our country,” he said.
Zanzibar is popular with international tourists, but suffered a wave of deadly protests last year as supporters of an Islamist group repeatedly clashed with the police.
However, police have described the attack targeting the girls as "an isolated incident" and refused to link it to tension between majority Muslims and Christians on the island.
Reuters contributed to this report.
This story was originally published on Fri Aug 9, 2013 6:44 AM EDT