Tragic text to Perth couple killed in Sri Lankan bomb blasts

The last text message sent to an Englishborn Perth couple killed in the Sri Lanka bombings has been revealed.

Dr Sally Bradley and her husband Bill Harrop were staying in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel when one of the seven suicide bombers struck.

Executive director of Rockingham Peel Group Kathleen Smith told the ABC Dr Bradley left for Sri Lanka on Friday.

Ms Smith believes Dr Bradley was meeting up with her son and stepson in Sri Lanka.

Bill Harrop and his wife Sally Bradley. Source: Facebook/Sally Harrop

"I texted her to say, 'just checking in, hope you're OK' — she obviously didn't respond,” Ms Smith told the ABC.

"I thought it was maybe due to the media blackout that I'd heard about, kept thinking, 'oh surely she'll respond soon', and then got more worried as it got to the 24–hour mark.”

One of Dr Bradley’s friends eventually contacted Ms Smith and told her what had happened.

The couple had been living in Perth since 2013 where Dr Bradley was practising medicine, but were due to return to the UK soon.

They had bought a retirement home in the Cotswolds, Dr Bradley's nephew Jonathan Bradley said.

Sri Lankan security personnel inspect the debris of a car after it explodes when police tried to defuse a bomb near St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo on Monday. Source: Getty Images

Military granted powers as death toll rises

As a state of emergency took effect Tuesday giving the Sri Lankan military war-time powers, police arrested 40 suspects.

Among those arrested was the driver of a van allegedly used by suicide bombers involved in deadly bombings and the owner of a house where some of them lived, officials said.

Sri Lanka’s president gave the military a wider berth to detain and arrest suspects — powers that were used during the 26-year civil war but withdrawn when it ended in 2009.

The death toll from Sunday’s attacks has now risen to more than 300, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said.

Sri Lankan soldiers inspect the damage inside St. Sebastian's Church where a bomb blast took place. Source: Getty Images

With Associated Press

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, download the Yahoo News app from iTunes or Google Play and stay up to date with the latest news with Yahoo’s daily newsletter. Sign up here.