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2 blasts outside IPL venue in Bangalore,another bomb defused,show goes on

Two minor blasts involving crude devices triggered panic outside the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore ahead of an IPL-3 league game between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians here on Saturday afternoon....

Written by Johnson TA | Bangalore |
April 18, 2010 3:37:38 am

Two minor blasts involving crude devices triggered panic outside the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore ahead of an IPL-3 league game between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians here on Saturday afternoon. A third unexploded device was found outside another access point to the stadium.

A private security guard,attached to the Karnataka State Cricket Association,was seriously injured while three policemen and a bystander sustained minor injuries.

Preliminary analysis of the unexploded device — discovered after authorities had allowed the match to go on — revealed a cheap clock timer,two detonators and about two kilograms of a wax-like creamish white explosive substance which,as per initial analysis,contains ammonium nitrate and is suspected to be a material known as powergel that is used extensively in quarrying.

“There are some doubts about the exact nature of the material. From preliminary analysis,it seems to be of the kind used locally in quarries. Doubts have been expressed on the presence of a higher explosive by some spot spray tests conducted by bomb experts. We hope to have that clarified by Sunday,” said sources involved in the investigation of the blasts.

Like the devices that exploded,the unexploded device is believed to have been set for the afternoon. None of the devices contained shrapnel or materials that could act as missiles post-explosion,suggesting that the prime objective was to create panic ahead of the match,sources said.

The first blast occurred at 3.05 pm at the boulevard at the Anil Kumble circle on M G Road,a little distance away from the stadium. The blast was loud but did not cause any damage. The second blast occurred at 3.15 pm at the opposite side of the stadium,on the six-feet tall boundary wall beside Gate 12 on Cubbon Road,which is the entrance to the lower-priced stands for the IPL matches.

“We were standing inside,near the stadium boundary wall and suddenly there was a loud noise outside and dust in the air. When we rushed out,we saw one of the security guards from the private agency lying on the ground. He had suffered injuries in the head. We rushed him to hospital. Some policemen who were nearby also had wounds,” said Abdul Rehman,a KSCA security official at the ground.

This blast occurred just outside the massive generator room that sustains the lighting of the cricket stadium. Initially,police suggested that the blast occurred in the generator room.

The unexploded device was found placed on the boundary wall of the stadium,behind a hoarding indicating the gate number. It was kept at Gate 8 which is located on the Queens Road and is the third road encompassing the stadium.

Police sources said the devices that exploded also seemed to have been triggered by timers. At the Anil Kumble circle,pieces of clock batteries were found. Also found at both blast sites were shredded pieces of the local newspaper,Prajavani,in which the bombs are suspected to have been wrapped.

The IPL match was delayed by an hour on account of the blasts. The crowd was not turned away after police and bomb squads did a search of the stadium and its surroundings,assessed the situation and ruled that it was safe for the game to proceed.

The discovery of the third unexploded bomb at around 7 pm created fresh panic and forced the police to press bomb squads into action again to check all vehicles in the stadium,including the buses of the players.

“We are trying to be as meticulous as possible and prevent a panic situation from setting in as fans and players leave the stadium,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police K N Jithendranath.

Royal Challengers captain Anil Kumble and Mumbai Indians batsman Ambati Rayudu said security officials had assured the teams of their safety after the first explosions were reported,so both teams went out to play.

“We were warming up when we heard a loud sound outside. The security people asked us to get back to the dressing room. We were later given an assurance that it was safe to carry on with the game,” Kumble said.

“These things are a part of life now. Whether it happens outside the stadium or outside your house,you can’t really say when it could happen. I think we should not jump to conclusions and should let investigations be carried out,” Kumble said.

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