Thane's Ram Ganesh Gadkari Rangaytan, even in its glorious days, would not have seen such a crowd that gathered outside its premises minutes after a low-intensity blast took place at 4.10 pm on Wednesday.
The blast shook the parking lot of the theatre and damaged its ceiling. Seven people were injured in the blast, of which four were Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) employees.
“The doorkeeper Nilesh Dalvi saw a plastic bag lying near a cycle in the parking lot. He grew suspicious and informed the security guard. They were just three-four feet away from the plastic bag, when the blast took place," said TMC public relation officer Sandeep Malvi.
All the seven injured are said to be out of danger and the TMC Commissioner Nandkumar Jantre has announced an immediate relief of Rs. 10,000 for the injured. Sources in the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad, which arrived some 20 minutes after the blast, said that it was a "country-made bomb".
The Wednesday's blast comes four days after explosive devices were recovered from the Vashi theatre. Incidentally, the same play, Aamhi Pachputhe, directed by Santosh Pawar, which was being enacted at the Vashi theatre on Saturday, was scheduled to be staged at 4:30 p.m. at the Thane theatre.
"All the artistes were in the make-up room when we heard a loud noise. Soon we were evacuated from the theatre," said Ramesh Chandana, an actor from the play.
The Thane civil hospital was in chaos with increasing number of relatives searching for their loved ones and official authorities and political leaders taking charge of the situation.