1:42 pm - Friday June 21, 2024

Chennai: TCS worker killed in blasts on Guwahati-Bangalore Exp; train resumes journey

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Two minor-intensity blasts ripped through two coaches of the Guwahati-Bangalore Express on Thursday at Chennai’s Central Railway station killing a woman and injuring at least 13 others. The police have detained a suspect in this connection.Police said the detained suspect, who was found hiding in the train, is being questioned.

Tamil Nadu DGP K Ramanujam said a special investigation team would investigate the blasts and added that Chennai was not the target.

“It is not a major blast. It is suspected that Chennai could not have been target of those who were behind the blast because the train was running late. Some other location could have been the target,” Ramanujam said.

He said police had no immediate information about those behind the explosions.

“It is premature to say what kind of device was used in the blast. Damage to the train is not heavy,” he said.

The train continued its onward journey to Guwahati at 12.15pm, said Southern Railway spokesperson.

Passengers were allowed to continue the journey after thorough verification of their identities. Their contact details have been taken for future reference.

Southern Railway general manager Rakesh Misra told reporters the blasts took place in S4 and S5 sleeper coaches of the train after it arrived at platform number 9.

“The incident consists of minor-intensity blasts in two coaches,” said Misra.

The woman killed in the blasts has been identified as 24-year-old Swati, an assistant systems engineer at IT firm TCS. She was travelling from Bangalore to Vijayawada and was to go to Guntur further.

The injured, including two grievously hurt, were rushed to the state-run Rajiv Gandhi Hospital, where doctors said they were “out of danger”.

The injured have been identified as Murali, Krishna Pant, Soren Pant, Santh, Bijan Kumar, Uma, Abdul Khan, Shihabul Haque, Vimal Kumar, Hari and Altaf Khan.?

The train arrived from Bangalore at the Central Railway station, the major railway hub in this metropolis, at about 7.05am, and the explosions occurred in the coaches at about 7.15am.

As panic-stricken passengers rushed out of the train in platform No 9 and other platforms, police arrived at the spot and cordoned off the entire area.

Union railway minister M Mallikarjun Kharge, expressing shock over the incident, announced Rs. 1 lakh ex-gratia to the family of the woman killed in the explosion.

He said Rs. 25,000 will be given to those seriously injured and Rs. 5,000 to those with minor injuries.

Kharge said the Indian Railways will bear the entire treatment expenses of the injured.

He said railway authorities have detached the two coaches damaged in the blasts and replaced them to enable the train to proceed on its onward journey.

“The security agencies must be allowed to do their job. There is no need for me or anybody to go there. It is not good to interfere in the police investigation. We are waiting for the preliminary investigation report so must every body else… No need to speculate.”

He also dismissed suggestions that he was staying away from the blasts site due to restrictions under the election code of conduct.

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa ordered a Crime Branch-CID probe into the blasts.

“I strongly condemn the blasts. I have directed the police to coordinate with Railway Police to nab those behind this incident and initiate legal action against them. I have asked the CB-CID to probe this incident,” she said in a statement.

She expressed grief over the death of the 22-year-old woman and sympathised with the injured.

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