On Tuesday afternoon, the Saket police station in south Delhi received an emergency call: blast and major fire at PVR theatre; three dead.
The police reached the spot within three minutes, evacuated the Saket multiplex and cordoned off the area.
Bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs arrived at the scene. Shops downed shutters.
Khsitij Middha (27), a banker who had come to watch Hindi film Tum Mile, had to leave the theatre, popcorn and cola in hand.The afternoon ended well, though, and nobody had really died. It was a mock security drill.
“We received a call around 3 p.m. that three people had died in a blast at PVR, Saket,” said Pankaj Singh, station house officer, Saket police station.
“We rushed police teams to the scene of crime.”
Fire brigade officials, however, turned up late. Ambulances took 15 minutes to appear at the scene.
“The movie was just about to start. Suddenly we heard an announcement that there was a technical problem and all of us were made to exit,” said Middha.
“We regularly conduct mock drills at busy marketplaces, cinema halls and hotels… to check the preparedness of various units — fire (brigade), ambulance, market associations,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H.G.S. Dhaliwal.
At 3.30 pm, a voice from the public address system said that people could resume watching movies.