A damaged signboard bearing the name of eatery ‘Wok Inn’ remained stuck on a treetop for several hours after the blast in Chittaranjan Park, Pocket K-1, early on Monday.
It wasn’t the only reminder of the deafening explosion, though. The shutter of the food joint was ripped apart and its splinters littered the main road that separates Kalkaji and Chittaranjan Park.
About 50m away, an apartment complex located bang opposite the shop wore a disheveled look. More than 40 houses in South Park Apartments, Kalkaji, were damaged. Cars and house windows were smashed to bits, doorframes dented and furnishings damaged, said residents.
“It’s like a hurricane ripped through our colony. All but two rooms of my duplex house were damaged. The windows were broken and the wooden frames twisted. Broken glass pieces were littered across the bed sheet. The garage door was also jammed,” said Anshuman Mohanty, a resident.
Mohanty’s house is located on an inside lane. Houses facing the main road were damaged severely. Poonam Talwar’s house is one of them. The wooden window frames facing the road were twisted.
“Not just that, the bolts were damaged too. My car parked on the ground floor was also badly damaged, with the windowpanes broken,” she said. In fact, several other cars parked here were damaged.
About 30 cars were damaged. These include about 15 parked right outside the eatery. Jolly, who deals in car resale, had rented part of his shop for the food joint, where the blast took place. Across the main road, cars parked inside the apartment complex also badly damaged.
It all began with a deafening explosion that ripped through the early morning calm. “I was awake till late, when this roaring sound made me jump from my bed. The front cover of my room’s air conditioner had come off and window panes smashed,” said Mohanty.
A few houses away, S Chakravarty was sleeping at the time. “I thought a bomb had exploded somewhere. The entire building shook. I rushed outside and saw damage everywhere,” he said.
A few minutes later, the entire locality was out on the streets. By the time residents could make sense of the ruckus, police had come in. The next-door take away food joint, Wok Inn, was totally disheveled. “It wasn’t hard to figure out where it all began. The shutter of the shop was lying away on the road, revealing the rummaged interiors,” said Mohanty.
Leak in LPG pipeline caused explosion inside eatery: police
A leak in an LPG pipeline caused Monday’s explosion inside the eatery, police said, adding that a case of negligence had been registered.
A few more such mysterious low-intensity blasts have taken place in south Delhi in the last few months. And police have tried to reason out they were accidental. Investigations into a few of these, however, later revealed there was more to it than meets the eye.
Seven blasts have taken place in the jurisdiction of the Hauz Khas, Malviya Nagar and Mehrauli police stations. Security agencies are now seriously looking into whether there is a pattern to these blasts.
Three recent blasts in January have in fact made intelligence agencies sit up and take note. Intelligence and top police sources told the HT in the three recent blasts in January this year, the bombs might have contained high explosives. “While the FSL results are awaited, the examination of the spot and the recoveries made from the spot points to the possibility of use of high explosives, possibly TNT,” sources told HT .
A disturbing fact that is worrying security agencies is the recovery of “small nails of one-inch” from the site of the two blasts that took place on January 31. The bombs exploded within 40 seconds of each other on either side of the road and had been placed near a CNG filling station. One person was injured, police said.