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'The car acted as shield and saved me'

September 14, 2008 16:02 IST

A day after the serial blasts shook Delhi, the city's business centre Connaught Place was unusually calm with tension writ large on the faces of the people shaken by the terror strike.

Images: Shock and horror in Delhi

Employees of business establishments were seen huddled together, recounting the horrific scenes after the two quick explosions claimed several lives in the area.

"Five people from my village lost their lives in these explosions. One of them had a cold drink stall near the Barakhamba Road where the first blast occurred. Rest of them used to work in the Greater Kailash area," said Niwas, an employee at the parking area in inner circle at Connaught Place, barely 100 meters from the Central Park blast site.

View: Pathetic handling of blasts' aftermath

A resident of Giridih district in Jharkhand, he is working in Connaught Place for past ten years. Recalling his escape from deadly splinters that hit several cars, he told PTI, "I was standing behind a car and issuing parking slips.

"Soon, I heard a loud noise from the Barakhamba Road direction. Within seconds, I heard another sound in the park and saw a box flying in air.

Terrorists have accomplished Operation BAD

"The car acted as shield for me and saved my life from pieces of steel dustbin which hit the cars and showrooms in the vicinity," he said, while pointing towards broken glass pieces.

He was not the only one. Ashok who has a betel stall also missed the deadly shrapnel by a whisker.

'It seems terrorists knew how we would react'

"It was a usual weekend evening when one of my friends came running and told me about Karol Bagh blast. We were discussing about it when a loud bang was heard from the Barakhamba Road direction. We were about to close shop when the blast occurred in the park. I saw thick smoke billowing and people crying for help," he recalled.

"One of the pieces hit the shop's glass pane. You can see the marks on the tree as well," said Ved Prakash, a 55-year-old who works in a shop in the market. There were five marks of about an inch diameter on the tree trunk.

Eyewitness account: Five feet from death

Once the twin sounds reverberated through the busy market, people started running amidst chaos. "They ran towards the shops but police started to close down the market," Niwas said.

"I was also dumbfounded after the loud bang and ran towards the shops but by that time, shutters were down."

"The PCR vans were of great help. They assisted the injured in the park. Later ambulances also came to the site and ferried people to hospitals," said Rajesh, a guard at the Central Park.

Amidst panic, saviours arrive with help

Ram Sukhan, who works as an ear-cleaner in the park, said: "I was on the other side of the park when blast took place. There was a very loud sound and commotion opposite the Gopaldas building."

"People started running and chaos prevailed in the park. I was confused and ran for my life when I saw people writhing in pain and crying for help. Police whisked us away from the site," he added.

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