A high alert was sounded across Kerala and security beefed up after an explosion at the Kochi collectorate building Friday evening was identified as a pipe bomb blast.
The explosion took place around 3.10 pm in the staircase leading to the fifth floor of the building. Initially it was thought to be a fire that broke out but later forensic experts inspecting the site found that that it was a pipe bomb and identified a timer, ammonium nitrate and batteries.
A man near the spot suffered minor injuries in the blast
State Revenue Minister K P Rajendran who rushed to the site said that a high level inquiry would be ordered.
After the forensic experts identified explosive materials, state Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose asked all the 14 district superintendents of police to maintain a high vigil. He left for Kochi himself.
Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who are both in Delhi to attend a crucial party meeting, called up the Ernakulam District Collector M Beena after coming to know of the incident.