New Delhi: Seven major explosions rocked Mumbai on Tuesday. The serial blasts occurred at Borivili, Khar, Meera Road, Matunga, Jogeshwari, Bhayander railway stations and a seventh on the Khar-Santacruz subway.
About 183 people are feared killed and over 714 people injured in the serial blasts.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced Rs 1 lakh compensation to the families of the dead.
Mumbai Helpline Number: 022-22005388
Western Railway helpline numbers: STD Code:022 - 23004000, 23014373
The available hospital-wise break up of the dead was as follows:
- Borivali: Bhagwati hospital 24 dead (23 male and one female).
- 38 dead at Sion hospital.
- Nine dead at Santa Cruz hospital.
- Parel, south-central Mumbai: 18 dead at KEM hospital.
- Vile Parle: 26 dead at Cooper hospital.
- Bandra: 22 dead at Bhabha hospital.
After spot check of the tracks, Western line Railways restored train services in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
All seven blasts were high-intensity explosions and initial reports said wired timing devices were used in all the cases.
Some of the injured were taken to the nearby V N Desai Hospital.
Eyewitnesses at Matunga railway station said the RPF jawans arrived only half-an-hour after the blast occured.
Rescuers used bedsheets and other pieces of clothes that were on hand to remove the dead and injured from trains and platforms to nearby hospitals.
Limbs were strewn and blood was splattered all over the compartments where the blasts took place while all the coaches suffered excessive damage, most of them being ripped off.
Since all explosions took place when the trains were either getting into the railway stations or leaving the stations, police officials suspect that either the explosive devices were remote-controlled or fitted with timer devices.
Many of the passengers from adjoining compartments, who were not injured in the blasts, sustained injuries while attempting to jump out of moving trains.
The passengers themselves lent a helping hand in removing the dead and moving the injured out of the mangled train compartments and shifted them to adjoining places from where they were taken to hospitals.
Sources said it was not possible to comment on the nature of explosives used in the blasts as forensic experts and the bomb detection and disposal squads are reaching the spots to collect evidence.
Ammonium nitrate, which is commonly available, had been consistenly used in previous blasts in Mumbai and looking at the nature of damage that has occurred to the railway compartments, police officials do not rule out the possibility of the use of the same chemical in Tuesday's blasts.
The first blast occurred at Khar on a train going from Church Gate to Borivili. The explosion took place at 6:25 PM between Santacruz and Khar station.
CNN-IBN Correspondent Jency Jacob, who was on the train, said the blast took place in a first-class compartment. He said several blood-stained bodies were seen lying on the tracks.
All the explosions took place in first-class compartments of the trains. The Matunga blast appears to be the most severe blast at the moment.
The first five blasts occurred within a span of 15 minutes. Some of the injured have been taken to the Raheja hospital in Mahim.
Another 20 injured were admitted to the KEM hospital in Central area of Parel, hospital sources said.
Mumbai city has been put on red alert, all local trains on Western Railway have been stopped.
Relief and rescue operations have been affected because of heavy rains.
All local phones, including mobile services, in the city has been jammed apparently due to congestion in the system as anxious people tried to reach their loved ones.
All major railway stations, temples and major monuments in and around Mumbai have been cordoned off. All Western Railway services have been suspended.
Mumbai Police Commissioner AN Roy has appealed to the people of Mumbai to remain calm.
Union Home Secretary V K Duggal said that there is no connection between the Mumbai blasts and the Kashmir blasts, which took place earlier on Tuesday.
Intelligence sources, however, said the terror strikes were an attempt by the terrorists to divert India's attention from elections which are being held in Pak-occupied-Kashmir on Tuesday.
Police Commissioner Roy said the blasts could be related to the terrorists who were arrested a few days back. Police had also recovered huge consignments of RDX from several places, including Aurangabad, Nasik and Malegaon.
Intelligence sources said parts of Maharashtra have become haven for terror modules.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called a special meeting on 1930 hrs (IST) on Tuesday to review security measures across the country.
All airports across the country have been put on high alert. However, no airport will be closed. Delhi has also been put under high security alert. Security has been stepped up in all the sensitive installations in the Capital.
A red alert has also been declared in Bangalore. Police have taken positions outside all vital installations.
Previous Blasts in Mumbai
|August 26, 2003 : At least 48 people were killed and 150 injured in two blasts in south Mumbai - one near the Gateway of India and the other at Zaveri Bazaar in the busy Kalbadevi area.|
|July 29, 2003: Four persons were killed and 32 injured when a powerful blast ripped apart a BEST bus in Ghatkopar in northern Mumbai. Two people died on the spot.|
|March 14, 2003: At least ten commuters, including four women, were killed and 70 injured in an explosion near the first class ladies compartment of a local train.|
|January 28, 2003: One woman was killed and 25 persons injured in a blast near Vile Parle station in suburban Mumbai.|
|March 12, 1993: A series of bomb blasts ripped through 13 places in the city, killing 257 people and injuring 713. These
were the first blasts in which RDX was used and the explosions were allegedly planned by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a special meeting with the Union Home Minister and Home Secretary on the security situation. Immediately after the meeting, Home Minister Shivraj Patil left for Mumbai.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is also likely to leave for Mumbai later on Tuesday night. Railway Minister Lalu Prasad will also visit Mumbai on Wednesday.
Mumbai Police Commissioner A N Roy, without pin-pointing blame on any particular terror outfit, admitted that an ''outside'' hand might be behind the serial blasts which rocked the city's Western suburban rail network.
Roy said these people have taken help from the locals and were trying to destabilise the social fabric of the city. He also appealed to the citizens not to fall prey to rumours and maintain peace and law and order.