Four injured in blast at Agra hospital near Taj Mahal

September 17th, 2011 - 11:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Sep 17 (IANS) At least four people were injured in a low-intensity explosion Saturday at a private hospital, less than three km from the Taj Mahal, police said.

“Four people were injured in the blast at the hospital,” Deputy Inspector General of Police, Agra Range, Assem Arun told IANS.

The explosion took place around 5.30 p.m. at the reception of Jai Hospital, situated on a service lane of National Highway-2, barely 2.5 km away from Taj Mahal, a declared terror target and frequented by thousands of tourists, Indian and foreigners.

Security at the Taj Mahal and other places has been beefed up in the city after the explosion.

“It was a low-intensity explosion. It appears the explosive was kept under a seat at the hospital’s reception area,” Uttar Pradesh’s Special Director General of Police Brij Lal told IANS in Lucknow.

“Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) have arrived at the site to gather more information about the nature of the explosion,” he added.

In New Delhi, union Home Secretary R.K. Singh said reports indicated wires and battery parts were found at the blast spot.

He said a team of National Security Guard has been despatched to the spot, while the state police’s ATS was already probing the blast.

Inspector General of Police, Agra Zone, P.K. Tiwari said: “Of the injured, none is critical. They are being treated at the S.N. Medical College. The patients who were undergoing treatment at Jai Hospital are being shifted to other nursing homes.”

He said the nature of the explosion suggests that it was a crude bomb of low density. A 9-volt battery was recovered from the spot, he added.

“We will be able to confirm about the nature of explosion on the basis of forensic reports,” he said and refuted reports that the explosive was kept inside a tiffin recovered from the reception area.

“The tiffin we recovered was empty. We cannot link the explosion with the tiffin that probably belonged to the hospital staff or a patient’s attendant,” he said.

At the time of the blast, the afternoon shift of the OPD was operational. The hospital owner, Dr. Manvendra Singh was attending to patients and sustained pellet injuries in the blast. A receptionist and two patients/attendants were the other victims.

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