Friday, June 30, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Jalandhar blast kills two
Tribune News Service

JALANDHAR June 29 — Two persons were killed and at least 12 were injured, three of them seriously, in a powerful explosion which took place in a roadside tea stall kiosk at the Lamba Pind roundabout on the city outskirts late last night.

Fortunately, a big tragedy was averted since the explosion did not cause any harm to almost 400 people, who had gathered in the truck union grounds to enjoy a cultural programme organised by the truck union as the truck union boundary wall, separating the ground and the kiosk, acted as a shield by bearing the entire impact of the explosion.

Though the police was clueless about the nature of the explosion and its cause, officials suspected was a crude bomb, which in all probability might have been planted or concealed by somebody in the kiosk, which was ripped apart by the powerful explosion. The blast was so powerful that it was heard by residents in a radius of about 2 km.

According to police officials and eyewitnesses, a big explosion took place inside the kiosk at about 10.30 p.m, leaving at least 12 persons, mostly labourers, injured. Two of them, identified as Niranjan Dass, a resident of Helran, and Dinesh, a labourer hailing from Nepal, died on the way to hospital, while Arthur, Parkash and Balbir Kumar of Lamba Pind village were admitted to the civil hospital, where their condition was stated to be serious. Parkash was later operated upon for removal of foreign objects like small wooden splinters and iron parts. All others who received minor injuries were given first aid at nearby clinics.

During a visit to the spot, this correspondent witnessed a ghastly scene. Utensils with blood stains, an LPG stove, polythene sheets and bamboo sticks used in the construction of kiosk were scattered all over. A big two-feet-wide crater has been created along the wall by the explosion, the impact of which even hurled the thatched roof of the kiosk away. Interestingly, though the explosion was loud, its impact was comparatively less and remained confined to a radius of 15 feet. A water tanker, standing next to the kiosk and the wall remained intact in the explosion, which, according to Mr P.K. Uppal, SP, (City), was not caused by RDX. “Had it been so, nothing would have been left here,” he said while inspecting the site. The dog squad was pressed into service in the morning, while the forensic experts took samples from the spot to determine the nature of the explosion. He said nobody had claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Mr Sanjiv Salwan, an eyewitness, said he was sitting in his clinic, when he heard a big bang, the impact of which was so strong that medicines in his clinic went off the shelf. “All I could see was a cloud engulfing the entire chowk area and later on some people who were lying injured there,” he said.Back

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