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'I stepped on the gas, when there was a bang'
Baban Namdev Bhapkar | July 29, 2003 20:19 IST
Baban Namdev Bhapkar was at the wheels of the bus in Ghatkopar, Mumbai, that was ripped apart by a bomb blast on Monday evening, killing four persons and injuring more than 30. He shares his experience with rediff.com
We were on our way to Ghatkopar. The bus was totally full. There was heavy traffic at the Ghatkopar pipeline signal so I had to drive very slowly.
Just before the signal there is a bus stop, where some people got down.
Ahead, the signal was red so I had to apply the brakes again. Around 10-12 people got down there.
When the signal turned green I stepped on the accelerator. A few seconds later I heard a huge bang and there was black smoke everywhere.
I did not understand what to do. I opened the door on my right (from where the driver gets in) and came out, completely stunned.
I saw the conductor lying at a distance. Some people rushed towards us. They put the conductor into a taxi and took him to hospital. After that I do not remember much.
Driver (route number 340) Baban Namdev Bhapkar spoke to Vijay Singh.
Postscript: Conductor Dilip Dhanvandkar told this scribe that the bus was fully packed and there were many people in the back, where the bomb was planted. He said he could not reach there because of the rush and so the passengers at the back had to pass money to him through others. He was getting money from someone when the blast took place. "I was totally unconscious and didn't remember anything after that."
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