An explosion in a State Transport (ST) bus at Latur in Marathwada left more than 10 people injured on Friday evening. Three amongst the injured are serious, including a woman who was stated to be critical.
According to the Latur police, the explosion is suspected to have taken place due to a faulty air tank installed in the ST bus. The bus, ferrying passengers from Udgir , also in Marathwada, to Latur, was at the Nalegaon bus stop near Nalegaon village when the explosion took place. As per police, passengers were boarding the bus when the air tank exploded at around 7.30 pm. At least ten persons are said to be injured in the mishap, including the driver, according to the police.
Sources said that the explosion is suspected to have occured in the space between the 2nd and 3rd seat behind the driver. The seriously injured woman, who has received burn injuries that caused bleeding too, is believed to be most closest to the place of explosion. The aluminium seat was bent in the impact of the explosion, sources said.
The Latur police and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) were immediately dispatched to the spot and the injured were rushed to Latur Civil Hospital.
“Also, a team from the Nanded police was rushed to the spot. The place was evacuated soon after the police officials reached the spot that is situated around 30 kilometers away from Latur city,” said an official.
The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) is however not ruling out the possibility of a bomb blast considering that the bus was travelling from Udgir, the place from where Himayat Baig, who is awarded death sentence for his role in the German Bakery blast, operated. Baig is said to have indoctrinated at least 30 to 40 youth from Marathwada region.
Meanwhile, Sanjeev Dayal, director general of police (DGP), said, “Our people on the ground have not found any traces of a classical Improvised Explosive Device (IED). We cannot speculate at this point.”
Seconding the DGP, sources said that during prilminary inquiry, no splinters, wires (circuit) or timer divice was found from the place, indicating it may not be an IED but low intensity explosive. "Only the forensic analysis will establish the type of explosives, if anything was there. It is too early to draw any conclusion," sources added.