A 24-Year-old woman software engineer was killed and 14 people injured when two low-intensity bombs went off in quick succession in two coaches (S4, S5) of the Bangalore-Guwahati superfast express train at the Chennai Central railway station on Thursday morning. Officials said all the injured, including two who underwent surgery, are in a “stable” condition.
The train was running an hour-and-a-half late when it pulled into platform 9 at Chennai Central at 7.05 am. The first blast occurred about 10 minutes later. It was followed by a second blast just minutes after, triggering panic among the passengers.
Tamil Nadu intelligence chief DGP Anoop Jaiswal told The Indian Express that “low-intensity IED fitted in pipes, triggered by a timer device” was suspected to have been used. Officials pointed to the use of an ammonium nitrate-based explosive.
“Chennai may not have been the target because the train was running late. Some other location could have been the target,” said Tamil Nadu DGP K Ramanujam. Jaiswal said there were no alerts about a possible terror strike, adding that any speculation at the moment was “premature”.
Sources said a passenger was detained on suspicion as he had provided a false name and address while booking his ticket. A senior Bangalore Police officer said CCTV footage showed the suspect roaming around in the Bangalore station on Wednesday.
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The victim has been identified as Swathi Parachuri, 24, a software engineer with TCS Bangalore. Swathi, who was in the S5 coach, was on her way home to Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
Two of the injured, Sumanto Devanath, 37, and an unidentified passenger, are said to be “serious but stable”. Barring one passenger who had injuries on his neck, the rest suffered injuries on their legs. One of the injured, A Anjaneyalu from Ongole, Andhra Pradesh, a software engineer working in Bangalore, said he was lying down on his berth when the explosion hurt both his legs.
All the injured were rushed to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital which is near the station. “We have specialists attending to the patients. The condition of all the injured is stable,” said Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan. The blasts damaged three coaches — S3, S4 and S5. The train finally left the station at 12:15 pm. “We have CCTV footage which will be checked by investigators,” said zonal general manager Rakesh Mishra.
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