Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Several Blasts Rock Mumbai Commuter Trains

From Wiki News:

Seven explosions have been reported at various local railway stations in the city of Mumbai, India, the first occuring at 6:25 pm IST (GMT+5:30).

The first blast ripped through the first-class compartment of a local train from Churchgate to Borivili, near the Khar station. Subsequent blasts occured at Bhayandar station near Mira Road, Mahim station, Matunga, Jogeshwari and Borivali. A seventh blast has occured in the Khar-Santacruz subway. Local phone lines in Mumbai have been jammed. The Press Trust of India, quoting railway officials, said all seven explosions had targeted first-class cars.

Officials said at least 104 people have died in the blasts, although given the fact that Western Railway trains are very crowded during the evening rush hour, the figures could rise. Police are allegedly performing raids throughout India in response to the bombings, while officials in Mumbai claim the explosions were a deliberate attack. Heavy monsoon downpours have hampered the rescue efforts of the emergency services.

The Indian capital New Delhi has reportedly been put on high alert after the blasts. Airports across the country are also on high alert as are sensitive installations in Mumbai. Mumbai's train system has been suspended and calls are made to keep the public away from the city's train stations. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has called a emergency cabinet meeting.

The attack has the trademarks of Kashmiri militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba which has set off bombs in quick succession in Indian cities before. India's domestic intelligence agency, the Intelligence Bureau, claims that this attack, as also the grenade attacks in Jammu and Kashmir earlier today were aimed at diverting attention from the elections being held in Pakistani Kashmir.

Meanwhile, a suspected terrorist has been arrested in Jangpura area of Central Delhi. The police have recovered 2 kg of RDX, an explosive widely used by the military, in his possession.

(Wikipedia has an article about 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings.)

Staggering and sickening carnage.

1 comment:

Jezzy said...

It's horrible news. And having travelled on the trains in Mumbai, I'm picturing just how many people would've been affected. Those trains are amazingly long and jam-packed with people. They don't all have closing doors and you can often see people riding on top of the trains. The platforms go on forever and some trains have like 17 carriages. (Amazing considering most are only 4-6 here). Even the first-class and women-only compartments contain way more people than a carriage at peak hour does here.

The suspension of the train system would have a huge impact as well.

My dad's cousin works on for the railway at Mumbai - we'll be contacting him to see if he and his family are all okay.