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Black bags make markets war zones

The market was chock-a-block with shoppers when the bomb went off, just outside a jeweller?s. People as far as 200 metres away were shaken; the blast was heard in offices on KG Marg.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2005 13:21 IST

NEHRU MARKET, PAHARGANJ: The market was chock-a-block with shoppers when the bomb went off, just outside a jeweller’s. People as far as 200 metres away were shaken; the blast was heard in offices on KG Marg.

Those in the immediate vicinity were blown to pieces. Windows were shattered, doors and pillars collapsed. The place resembled a war-zone.

People ran frantically looking for loved ones. Gurpreet Singh was looking for her uncle who had come shopping. The blast gave Raghunath Sikka, whose cosmetic shop was across the road from the bomb, a massive heart attack.

VK Chawla left his Israeli customer and rushed out. “A woman’s sari was on fire, and we doused it with a sheet. Another lady’s hand and leg caught fire. She went to the hospital in a bad state.”

ANANDMAYEE MARG, OKHLA PH I: Around 5:52 pm, Abdul Gafar, a security guard at Anandmayee Marg, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase I, heard a loud blast. He rushed out to see smoke outside a DTC bus and people running helter-skelter. “Someone said that there was a blast in the bus. We saw two men with blood on their face and clothes. There was complete chaos. Shards of glass were all around,” he says.

Eyewitnesses said there were about 40 passengers in the Outer Ring Road bus which was coming from Uttam Nagar terminus. Ten people were injured in the blast.

DTC’s Yashpal Singh said, “The last panel of the bus bore the maximum damage. Window panes on the left side of the bus were completely shattered.”

MINI-MARKET, SAROJINI NAGAR: At 5.56 pm, an unattended black bag in front of a juice-cum-chaat stall in the mini market, teeming with women and children, went off. “I was close by when I noticed one of the chaat-stall boys pointing towards a black bag and asking if it belonged to anyone. I asked him to move away as it could contain an explosive… The next thing I saw was the bag blew up and the boy was hurled several metres in the air,” recalls Satinder Pal Sharma.

At least 37 people were killed, 23 injured and a few buildings developed cracks. The blast triggered a fire, leading to an LPG cylinder going off which further aggravated the fire.

Police called it a cylinder blast, but eye-witnesses spoke of an unattended black bag.

First Published: Oct 30, 2005 01:31 IST