Chennai station blasts: 1 dead, 9 injured; airports on alert

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Saima, Star Live 24
Thursday, May 01, 2014
Published On: 10:58:32 AM

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa condemns the blasts, orders investigation. 

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is currently in Himachal Pradesh, says: "I am away in Himachal. I have directed my officials to provide 

In a statement, the Home Secretary says that his department is in touch with both the Tamil Nadu police as well as the Railways over the Chennai blasts. The statement adds that a decision on a future course of action will be taken soon. 

Saying that Railway and state police are working together, Kharge adds he won't visit the blasts site today as he is going to New Delhi to attend a Cabinet meeting. 

Terming it as a very unfortunate incident, Kharge says the probe is going on. He adds: "Our people are taking quick action. I think within a short time we will be able to sort out the matter." 

Talking to reporters, Railway Minister Mapanna Mallikarjun Kharge says two blasts occurred in two coaches, S4 and S5, approximately 10 minutes after the train arrived at the station. He adds that the train, which was scheduled to arrive at 5:20 am, arrived at Chennai Central railway station at 7:05 am. One lady passenger, named Swati, was killed, two are critically injured, while seven passengers have received minor injuries, says Kharge. 

Initial investigations suggest they were improvised explosive device (IED) blasts. 

The Home Ministry has put all airports on alert following the blast. 

Tamil Nadu DGP K Ramanujam, who is at the blasts site, says: "It is not a major blast. It is suspected that Chennai could not have been target of those who were behind the blast because the train was running late. Some other location could have been the target." He adds that a Special Investigation Team would probe the twin bomb blasts. 

Member of Parliament and senior DMK leader TKS Elangovan visits the spot, calls the incident as unfortunate. He adds that it is the duty of police to alleviate the fear among passengers and ensure that people travel safely. 

Additional Director General, Public Relations, Railway Board, Anil Kumar Saxena, says the Home Ministry has expressed sorrow over the unfortunate incident. He adds that the sequence of blasts is not yet clear. "We need to wait for detailed and time-bound investigation to take place." 

Bangalore helpline numbers: 08022356409, 08022156553, Railway control number: 08022876288 

Confirming the blasts, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) does not rule out terror angle. 

Since the train arrived in Chennai approximately 1 hour 25 minutes late, the question arises whether the capital city of Tamil Nadu was actually the target. Had the train been on time, the explosion could have taken place near Nellore (Andhra Pradesh), where BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a rally today. 

According to reports, police have found the suspect hiding in a compartment of the train. He is currently being questioned in police custody. 

Chennai police commissioner S George is also on the spot. 

A team of National Security Guard (NSG) has been dispatched to Chennai blasts site. 

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh for the for kin of the deceased, Rs 25,000 for those who are critically injured, and Rs 5,000 for the others who received minor injuries. 

For those seeking any enquiries, the Helpline Number is 044-25357398 

The GM adds that train movement at the station has been put on halt. Hoping to resume operations, Misra says even this train should also be able to push off in the next hour. 

Two minor intensity blasts took place at 7:15 am, Misra confirms. 

Rakesh Misra, General Manager, Southern Railway, confirms one casualty, saying that the blast took place under a seat and victim, named Swati, was unfortunately sitting on the seat. The native of Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Swati (22), who had boarded from Bangalore, was on her way to Vijaywada. He adds that the train had a brief 10-minute halt at the station ahead of its ownward journey. 

Police have mounted a massive search operation in all the trains following the incident. 

Soon after the explosions, security personnel cordoned off the platform number 9 but the movement of other trains from and to Chennai Central has not been affected. 

Several persons were injured in the explosions in a train at Chennai Railway station, confirmed Chennai Police Commissioner JK Tripathy.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has confirmed the explosions at Chennai railway station. 

At least 10 people were injured in the explosions. One person, reportedly a woman, has reportedly been killed in the explosion. The injured have been shifted to Rajiv Gandhi Government General hospital across the road. 

Police teams are on the spot and the investigation into the twin blasts is on. Bomb disposal squad and dog squad have been pressed into action. 

Train services have been halted. 

The nature of the blast is yet to be ascertained. 

The blasts reportedly took place under seat 70 of S4 bogie and S5 bogie (sleeper coaches) of Bangalore-Guwahati (Kaziranga) Express (Train No 12509), which had arrived on the platform 9 of the station at around 7:15 am. According to reports, the train was scheduled to arrive at Chennai station at 5:30 am. However, the train got late by one hour and twenty-five minutes, which means it arrived at the station at around 7:05 am. 

Minor explosions reported at Chennai railway station. Four have been injured, say reports.

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