Egyptian Hotel Live Tweeted an Angry Mob Storming Its Lobby

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Normally, having a luxury hotel just steps from the cultural heart of a major international capital is great for business. Sometimes, it's an invitation for disaster, as the Semiramis InterContinental in Cairo found out last night. The four-star lodge overlooks the Nile in the heart of downtown, but is also just one long block from Tahrir Square, the once and current home of tens of thousands of feuding revolutionaries.

Even that is typically not much of a problem—until last night when a group of masked men broke off from the main mob and stormed the lobby of the hotel. They reportedly ransacked the main entrance and looted an ATM machine. They also sent a desperate social media team scrambling for someone, anyone, to come and help. Even Twitter users would have sufficed in a pinch like this:

There were actually several more tweets like these, shouting into the ether for assassitance. Then they tried a different tactic:

Liam Stack is a reporter for The New York Times, who presumably is among the many journalists  who have stayed at the InterContinental while covering Egypt's revolution. He did his best to help, but unfortunately there wasn't a whole lot to be done from his vantage point. They kept trying:

Finally, after more than a hour of frantic tweeting, the calvary arrived.

In the end it appears, that no one was seriously hurt and the perpetrators—not revolutionaries, but just criminals trying to take advantage of the chaos—were arrested. Although, several guests obviously felt it best to find other accomodations. 

All in all, a pretty eventful night for the hotel staff and for Twitter. Certainly more exciting than that the tweets they usually send out. This was the last transmission, sent before the current round of protests began last Friday:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.