15 wounded in Srinagar explosion

March 19th, 2008 - 9:38 pm ICT by admin  


Srinagar, March 19 (IANS) At least 15 people were injured when a massive explosion rocked the Jammu and Kashmir summer capital Wednesday evening, breaking a lull of several months. The police said the explosion on the city’s only flyover in Jahangir Chowk sent blocks of concrete flying all around, resulting in injuries to at least 15 people.

All the injured were taken to the SMHS hospital, where the condition of at least two was critical, doctors attending to them said.

“There was a deafening sound and as I looked towards the flyover, I saw a portion coming down. Blast splinters and pieces of concrete flew all around. For some time I couldn’t move. I then saw people crying for help. Then the police arrived at the scene. But this was a deadly explosion,” said Abdul Rahman who was sitting inside a shop near the flyover.

Senior police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers rushed to the spot immediately and the area was surrounded. Traffic was diverted on to other roads, leading to massive traffic jams in city centre Lal Chowk.

“We have surrounded the blast site. We are trying to ascertain whether it was a car bomb or an IED (improvised explosive device),” deputy inspector general CRPF (Operations) M.P. Nathiyal told reporters at the spot.

The blast led to tension and panic in the area, and shopkeepers pulled down shutters.

“I am closing early as my family wants me back immediately. This has happened after a long time,” said Muhammad Abdullah, a shopkeeper in Jahangir Chowk.

The blast near the civil secretariat and outside the state high court complex shattered windowpanes of the adjoining shops as also of some passing vehicles.

The sound of the explosion was heard several km away.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.

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