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'For some time, no one spoke'

Vijay Singh in Mumbai | July 29, 2003 00:05 IST
Last Updated: July 29, 2003 01:43 IST

Sunil Shrivastav, who commutes daily from Kalva to distant Chakala in Andheri (East), sometimes plays games on his cell phone to while away time during the journey.

It was the same on Monday evening.

Map of Mumbai. Click for larger image.He had boarded BEST bus route no 340 at Chakala. It would take him to Ghatkopar (East), where he would board a train to Kalva, near Kalyan.

He was sitting in the front by the window, right behind the seat reserved for handicapped persons.

Around 2100 IST, when the bus was a close to its destination, Shrivastav was stunned by a powerful blast at the rear of the bus.

He could not move for a few minutes though he was conscious, and neither could he hear anything.

He had been injured in the head, but the extent of injuries was not known. He was taken to the Nulife Hospital nearby, where this correspondent met him.

Doctors restrained him from speaking any further, advising rest.

Vinod Jain's shop Chandalia Jewellers is on the busy Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg in Ghatkopar, a suburb in northern Mumbai.

He was busy attending to customers on Monday evening when the blast took place, right opposite his shop.

He was momentarily stunned by the loud noise and the impact of the blast.

Seconds later, he noticed people rushing towards his shop. Many of them were passengers from the bus in which the blast occurred.

No one spoke a word though. They all stood still, lining the pavement.

After about five minutes, people began to get away from the site, again silently.

Jain looked at his shop, rearranged some of the material that had been disturbed by the impact of the blast, pulled down the shutters half-way and came out.

Just then a cop came to his shop to make a call.

Jain heard the cop tell his senior that eight people had died in the blast.

It was some time later he noticed that the front end of the destroyed bus was right outside his shop.

Recent bomb blasts in Mumbai:
Ghatkopar blast | Vile Parle blast | Mulund blast

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