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'People thought the first blast was a gas cylinder burst'

Last updated on: February 22, 2013 00:19 IST

Image: One of the blast sites
Photographs: SnapsIndia

As the first blast occurred near a tea-cum-fast food centre diagonally opposite the busy Konark theatre area in Hyderabad around 7:05 pm on Thursday, everyone first thought it was a gas cylinder had burst.

By the time the impact was felt, there were at least five-six bodies strewn around in a pool of blood with footwear and other objects scattered all around the place. Many others had sustained injuries while several vehicles parked there were either burnt or damaged.

In both cases, the explosives were fitted to bicycles and parked amid the bustling crowds.

Hundreds of people in the vicinity had hardly regained their senses when, in less than five minutes, another blast was heard just about 150 metres away at a crowded city bus stop close to Venkatadri theatre on the main road.


'People thought the first blast was a gas cylinder burst'

Image: Police officials and medics at one of the blast sites
Photographs: SnapsIndia

Here too, five persons were killed instantly as the bomb exploded.

The evening show had just ended in Venkatadri and a large audience was making its way out at that time. The second blast spot has at least 10 bus shelters in a row and, apart from scores of passengers, several small-time vendors would be doing their business on the service road.

It's normally difficult to find even a toe space around the Dilsukhnagar Bus Stand area in Hyderabad from early morning till late in the night. Such is the flow of vehicular traffic and people in the area which is located on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway.

"The impact of the blast at the bus stop was such that interiors of two shops right behind it in a three-storied building were badly damaged and left one person dead," an eye-witness said.


'People thought the first blast was a gas cylinder burst'

Image: The destruction caused by the blast
Photographs: SnapsIndia

Dumbfounded shop-keepers and people around after getting to know what had happened started shifting the victims to nearby hospitals.

The police arrived on the scene shortly thereafter but took a little while to cordon off the two blast spots. Local corporator and Telugu Desam Party floor leader Singireddy Srinivasa Reddy was among the first leaders to reach the spot and helped in rushing the injured persons to hospitals.

"It was a gory scene as many bodies were lying on the road in a pool of blood. Other people were in a state of shock," Singireddy said.

Top police officials from Cyberabad and Hyderabad commissionerates rushed to the scene while sleuths from the National Investigating Agency and the state's counter-terror unit 'Octopus' also joined the investigation to gather clues.



'People thought the first blast was a gas cylinder burst'

Image: The canine squad at one of the blast sites
Photographs: SnapsIndia

As the news spread, curious onlookers thronged the area even as the police had a tough time controlling them. City Mayor Majid Hussain faced protests from local people before Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy reached the area with Home Minister Sabita Reddy and Labour Minister Danam Nagender.

Director General of police Dinesh Reddy was also there. Police sources said that CCTV cameras were installed in the area and their footage would be examined by the NIA and the National Security Guards to specific clues.

It was somewhere close to Venkatadri theatre that an unexploded bomb was recovered on the day twin blasts had rocked Hyderabad in August 2007. A bomb blast had also occurred near the famous Shirdi Sai Baba temple at Dilsukh Nagar a few years ago.

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