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Toll Rises to 190 in Mumbai blasts, 714 injured

UNI   (Update - Wednesday, July 12 - 1-00 pm)

Mumbai, Jul 12: The toll in the seven blasts that rocked Mumbai's suburban Western Railway (WR) last evening has risen to 183 today and 714 injured are undergoing treatment at various city hospitals, police said.

The first blast occurred at Khar station at 1824 hrs, followed by Bandra at 1824 hrs, Jogeshwari at 1825 hrs, Mahim at 1826 hrs, Mira Road at 1829 hrs, Matunga Road at 1830 hrs and Borivali at 1835 hrs.

Of the total seven blasts, two occurred when the trains had arrived on the railway station, while the remaining five took place in moving trains, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said.

He later announced an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh to the kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 to the injured.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who visited the injured with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi late last night, appealed to the Mumbaikars to exercise restraint and face the crisis unitedly and with determination.

Patil, along with Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ms Gandhi visited the sites of the blasts and reviewed the security situation in the metropolis.

Yadav has announced a compensation of Rs five lakh to the families of those killed in the blasts and promised a job in the Railways to at least one person from the victim's family.

Leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha L K Advani has also arrived in Mumbai and will be visiting the injured admitted in various hospitals.

Chaos and carnage in Mumbai

Mumbai, July 12: It took just 11 minutes. One by one down the railway line, the bombs went off, ripping apart the trains, tearing through flesh and paralysing what is arguably India's most vibrant city.

The powerful explosive devices, which police think were hidden in luggage racks above the commuters' heads, destroyed carriages, spewing charred and twisted metal and blood-spattered debris and luggage across the rails.

As police and rescue services struggled to reach the blast scenes through Mumbai's jammed, chaotic everyday traffic and the torrential monsoon rains, bystanders stepped up, pulling the wounded from the wreckages, offering them water and bundling them into every available vehicle - from trucks to three-wheeled auto-rickshaws.

Others wrapped bodies in railway blankets and carried them away. Later, police collected body parts in white plastic bags streaked with blood and rain.

Survivors were seen clutching bloody bandages to their heads and faces. Those who could walked from the stations to hospitals.

 There, they found scenes of chaos and carnage.

Doctors and volunteers wheeled in the injured and dead, one after the other.

"I can't hear anything. People around me didn't survive," said Shailesh Mhate, a man in his 20s, sitting on the floor of Mumbai's Veena Desai Hospital surrounded by bloody cotton swabs.

"I don't know how I did," he said, holding his head in his hands.

Next to him a man wearing a tattered T-shirt and torn jeans lay unconscious, his face covered with blood.

Nearby, Param Singh lay on a bed, a blood-soaked bandage covering an empty eye socket and shrapnel wounds dotting his face. Anxiously, the young man gave an attendant his father's number. After 20 minutes, they finally got through.

"I am OK, don't worry, I am safe," he said before handing the phone over to a doctor and whispering: "Don't tell him about the eye."

Others desperately searched for loved ones.

"My friend from the office was in the other compartment. I don't know if he is injured," sobbed a woman who identified herself as Geeta, as she ran from ward to ward.

The bombings also brought India's entertainment and financial capital to a virtual standstill.

As news spread throughout this city's 16 million people, frantic residents tried to call family and friends. The mobile phone network collapsed, adding to the sense of panic.

With train services down, thousands of people were stranded, unable to return home and with no way to let their families know where they were.

  • 10.30pm, IST : An Indian TV Report says over 160 people killed and about 400 injured in the series of bomb blasts.
  • 11.55pm IST : Death toll is 174 

The blast spots and time

  • Khar 6.24 pm
  • Bandra 6.2 pm
  • Jogeshwari 6.25 pm
  • Mahim 6.26 pm
  • Mira Road 6.29 pm
  • Matunga 6.30 pm
  • Borivali 6.35 pm 

MUMBAI, July 11: A series of explosions were reported on Western Railway trains or railway stations at Mahim, Jogeshwari, Santa Cruz, Borivali, near Khar and Bhayandar on Tuesday.
Reports said more than 160 people were killed and hundreds were injured. The blasts occurred during peak hours.

Charred bodies of passengers were seen lying on tracks a few yards from Bandra station, indicating that the blast had taken place minutes after the train had moved out of the station. 
Telephone lines, including mobiles, were jammed immediately after the blasts.

Television channels showed images of people being carried away by onlookers, while many injured were in a state of shock at the railway stations.
Services on Western Railway, where all the blasts occurred, were suspended following the blasts.
“The blasts happened when the trains were most crowded,” DK Shankaran, chief secretary of Maharashtra, said.
Dazed survivors were shown with wounds from injuries to their heads, legs and hands, on railway stations with no sign of emergency medical aid.

The blasts occurred within minutes of each other, with the first taking place at 6.24 pm in a crowded train at Khar, officials said.
"The fourth carriage is completely wrecked and we have seen between eight to 10 heavily injured people being brought out," said a witness to the Khar blast, local shopkeeper Gopi Chand.

"The blast was so powerful that we thought we were hit by lightning. It shook our market," Chand said.   
"People began jumping off our running train when a bomb went off and filled the carriage with smoke and fire," said a commuter with serious injuries to his left arm and shoulder at Mahim station.
Firemen scoured the wreckage of a train which was hit by a blast in Matunga station.

Police said additional buses were being operated to help people reach home.
Police said the blasts had occurred on first class carriages of the commuter trains.

At least 10 bodies were brought to KEM Hospital here and another 20 seriously injured people were admitted to it following the serial blasts.

A few more injured were reportedly taken to the government hospital at Sion in central Mumbai, the Bhabha Hospital and VN Desai Hospital in the western suburbs from the blast sites, hospital sources said.
Several people had come with major injuries and fractures and doctors KEM Hospital said all the injured there are out of danger.

Most of the deaths are believed to have occurred at Matunga.
The Mumbai blasts came hours after militants killed seven people, six of them tourists, in a series of grenade attacks in Kashmir's main city, Srinagar, police said.

Mumbai, a metropolis of about 17 million, has been hit by a series of bomb blasts in the past decade.   
More than 250 people died in a string of bomb explosions in Bombay in 1993 for which authorities blamed the city's underworld criminal gangs.

Security has been stepped up in the city.

Earlier Updates:

Helplines for information on victims of Tuesday's serial blasts on trains and at railway stations in Mumbai.
Western Railways
Cooper Hospital
Hinduja Hospital
Lilavati Hospital
Bhabha Hospital


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