A “crude explosive” was found buried in the ground near Maratha Mandir cinema near Mumbai Central during excavation work for a Metro Rail line Wednesday evening.
Metro officials immediately contacted the local police who called in the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) to examine the substance. Inside, the police found old firecrackers stuffed into a casing but without a detonator or metal shrapnel. “It was a crude explosive and very old. The combustible material was also not of very high quality. We called the BDDS to defuse it,” said a police officer.
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation is constructing a new train route in the area, with the station for Mumbai Central set to come up outside the cinema. The MMRC is currently excavating the ground to make space for the station premises.
Virendra Mishra, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone III, said the explosive was found buried a metre in the ground. “Earlier there was a toilet block and shops at the side of the road before the Metro acquired the land for construction. The explosive was found below those structures,” he said.
An MMRC official added, “A suspicious substance was found at the site during excavation today. However, due to prompt action by the contractor and his workers, the police were informed. They are now investigating the matter.”