A third explosive device was found near the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and defused, three hours after two low intensity blasts, one at the stadium and another nearby, injured fifteen people ahead of the Mumbai Indians-Royal Challengers Bangalore Indian Premier League match in Bangalore on Saturday, police said.
The third explosive device was found in a plastic bag near Gate No 8, a police spokesperson told reporters.
The explosive device was found as police were sanitizing the stadium after one explosion at around 3.15 pm, 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the match tie, at Gate No 12B and another at Anil Kumble circle, less than half-a-km away, the official said.
Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari told reporters at the stadium: "It appears an explosive was planted near gate no 12 behind a plastic billboard. Four policemen suffered minor injuries while a security guard was seriously hurt.
"It was not a powerful explosive. Forensic experts will examine the site and determined the nature of the explosive," he said.
Another explosion took place near the Anil Kumble Circle, less than half-a-kilometre from the stadium, Deputy Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar said. No one was hurt in the explosion.
The explosives appeared to have been kept in a bush, Alok Kumar said.
Unconfirmed reports said around 15 people, including the four policmen, had suffered minor injuries. But police stuck to their figure of five injured.
Earlier, there was utter confusion at gate no 12B of the stadium as the explosion caused a loud noise and hundreds of fans waiting to enter the stadium ran helter and skelter.
Sirens of police vans and ambulances only added to the panic. At first it was thought that a overheated generator had exploded. Forensic experts visited the two places to examine the nature of explosives.
When the explosion near the stadium gate took place, thousands of spectators were already inside the stadium.
Soon after the blast, police closed all the gates to the stadium and were a harried lot, answering questions from the increasingly restless fans on the reasons for not allowing them in.
Players of both the teams were asked to return to their dressing rooms till police gave the go ahead for the match, which began at 5 p.m. after an hour's delay.
"The match will go on. There is no need for panic. I appeal to all fans to subject to security checks, cooperate with the police and enjoy the game," Bidari said.
Alok Kumar said police have no clue about who placed the explosive in the two places.
The nearly full stadium of 40,000 capacity did not show any signs of being affected by the explosions as fans roared when the two captains, Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar, came out for the toss which the former won and elected for the Royal Challengers Bangalore to bowl.
Both teams have already made it to the semifinals of the IPL.
(With inputs from IANS)