New Delhi -°C
Today in New Delhi, India

Sep 18, 2019-Wednesday



Select city

Metro cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata

Other cities - Noida, Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bhopal , Chandigarh , Dehradun, Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Loud explosions off Bengal coast trigger panic among tourists

There were speculations whether missiles test fired from Chandipur in Odisha accidentally landed near the Bengal coast.

kolkata Updated: Aug 26, 2017 21:00 IST
Koushik Dutta
Koushik Dutta
Hindustan Times
File photo of the coastline at Talsari near Digha.
File photo of the coastline at Talsari near Digha.(HT Photo)

A couple of loud explosions off the West Bengal coast triggered widespread panic in the beach tourists of Digha and Mandarmani at 11:10 on Saturday morning. The explosions that seemed to take place out in the sea were so loud that window panes of a few hotels were shattered and there were reports of a few walls suffering cracks as well.

East Midnapore district police officers also told HT that the sound was also heard from Tajpur, another popular tourist spot about 18 kms from Digha.

Read: Forces ask Dera followers to vacate Sirsa headquarters as 31 die in violence after Ram Rahim’s conviction

“We are looking into what actually happened. We have also informed the Coast Guard. The sound was also heard in Tajpur as well as in Digha,” Alok Rajoria, superintendent of police of the district.

Part of the beach in Digha, the most popular beach resort of West Bengal.
Part of the beach in Digha, the most popular beach resort of West Bengal. ( HT Photo )

After the explosion, the local administration forbade the tourists to go into the waters.

Incidentally, the missile testing range at Chandipur on Odisha coastline is about 50 km from Digha. There were speculations whether missiles test fired from this spot accidentally landed close to the Bengal coastline. A number of missiles have been launched from the Integrated Test Range including Akash, Shaurya, Agni and Prithvi ballistic missiles.

Read: Special chopper, AC room, govt help: Dera chief Ram Rahim allegedly gets VIP treatment after rape case conviction

However, defence sources said they had no confirmation of any wayward missile. They also pointed out test fired missiles don’t usually pack explosives.

There were also speculations that explosions could have carried out in the depths of the sea that might have caused the sonic boom that could have shattered the window panes.

“It was a terrible moment. I cannot express my feeling when I heard that sound. This is a weekend and there is a rush of tourists in Digha. There was panic everywhere,” said Malabika Banerjee, a tourist.

Some said there was a mild quake after the explosion.

“The first sound was heard around 11.10 am. It was followed by another one and we felt a quake too. None had any ides what happened and tourists rushed out of their rooms and went to the roads,” said Girish Raut, a hotel owner at Digha.

First Published: Aug 26, 2017 15:50 IST