Two explosions at Bangalore cricket stadium injures 10 (Fourth lead)April 17th, 2010 - 11:57 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, April 17 (IANS) Two low intensity blasts, one at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium and another nearby, ahead of an Indian Premier League tie Saturday left 10 people injured, including one seriously. A third explosive found at the stadium later was defused, police said.
The blasts, just ahead of the Mumbai Indians-Royal Challengers Bangalore tie, sent Bangalore police into a tizzy as both the semi-finals of the premier league T20 are scheduled to be played at the Chinnaswamy stadium on April 21 and April 22.
With over 40,000 fans expected to throng the stadium for the semi-finals, like they did Saturday to watch the RCB-MI tie, police said they would intensify efforts to sanitize the venue and surrounding areas.
The third explosive device was found three hours after the blasts in a plastic bag near Gate No 8 when police and their dog squad began searching the area, a police spokesperson told reporters.
The first blast was at Anil Kumble Circle, less than half-a-kilometre from the stadium. No one was hurt in the explosion. The second one took place at around 3.15 p.m., 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the match, at Gate no 12. The blast caused minor damage to the outer wall of the stadium.
Of the ten injured, four are policemen, one a security volunteer and the rest spectators waiting at Gate No 12.
Security volunteer Srinivas Murthy suffered head injuries but there was no danger to his life, Nancy Jennifer, casualty medical officer of the Mallya Hospital, about three km away from the stadium, where he was being treated, told IANS.
Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari told reporters at the stadium: “It appears an explosive was planted near Gate no 12 behind a plastic billboard placed close to the outer wall of the stadium. 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 determine the nature of the explosive,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar told IANS that the explosive in the first blast appeared to have been kept in a bush.
Earlier, there was utter confusion at Gate no 12 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 blast 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.
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.
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Tags: Anil Kumble, bidari, challengers, cricket stadium, explosive device, forensic experts, head injuries, kilometre, league tie, medical officer, minor injuries, natu, police commissioner, police spokesperson, rcb, semi finals, shankar, t20, throng, tizzy