At least 13 reported dead in India blasts
At least 13 people were killed and 81 others injured Wednesday in explosions that rocked congested areas of India's financial capital, Mumbai, according to Prithviraj Chavan, the chief minister of the state of Maharashtra, CNN reported.
Police said the explosions occurred within minutes of one another in the Dadar, Opera House and Zaveri Bazaar areas, all busy commercial areas that were certainly teeming with people in the evening rush hour.
"The sound was absolutely deafening," said Hemant Mehta, who was in the Opera House area, near Mumbai's diamond market, a small epicenter of the city's economy.
Everyone looked up, he said. At first, some thought that heavy rains had caused a building to collapse. He told CNN-IBN that he was sure the sheer panic would cause a stampede.
The area in Dadar is near a train station used by millions of commuters. Zaveri Bazzar is near a Hindu temple, in which some people were injured, Mumbai police representative Nisar Tamboli told CNN-IBN. Zaveri Bazaar was one of the scenes of a twin bombing in 2003 that killed 54 people.
Authorities issued high security alerts for the Indian capital, New Delhi, and the eastern city of Kolkata, CNN-IBN reported.
Chhagan Bhujbal, the Maharashtra state's public works minister, told CNN-IBN that the intensity of the blasts was not known.
Witnesses told CNN-IBN that their window panes shook and they heard the thundering boom of the blasts. Workers who had not left their offices were advised not to venture out.
Additional information was not immediately available, but memories of November 2008 resurfaced for nervous Mumbaikers.
In that series of attacks, 10 armed Pakistanis stormed the city's main train station, two luxury hotels and a Jewish cultural center, killing 164 people.