Chennai: Two blasts in quick succession in a passenger train on Thursday killed a 24-year old woman techie and injured 14 others in the busy Chennai Central Railway station in a suspected terror attack.
The two low-intensity bombs that went off in S4 and S5 sleeper coaches of Bangalore-Guwahati Express about ten minutes after the train pulled into the platform in the morning, triggered chaotic scenes with panic stricken-passengers scurrying for safety.
The woman killed in the mishap has been identified as Swathi, employed with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Bangalore, and was travelling to her home town Guntur in Andhra Pradesh along with a friend, police said.
Fourteen injured persons, including two critically wounded, were undergoing treatment at state-run Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital where doctors described their condition as "out of danger".
Today`s incident is among the rare terror attacks on trains in Tamil Nadu with explosions that had occured in three trains in 1993 to mark the observance of Babri masjid demolition day and a blast in RSS office here a few years later.
However, major terror attacks in Tamil Nadu were a bomb blast in Chennai airport in 1984 killing 33 people and the Coimbatore blast in 1998 in which 60 people were killed.
However, Tamil Nadu government is not treating today`s explosions as a terror attack as of now, according to sources in the Union Home Ministry.
Police cordoned off the platform where the explosion took place, rushed forensic experts, bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs to look for clues and Tamil Nadu government transferred the investigation to its specialised wing CB-CID.
The train continued its onward journey after railway authorities replaced three damaged coaches while other trains were being operated as scheduled after a brief disruption, railway officials said.
The police are probing all angles including whether the
bomb was planted after the train entered the city railway station or elsewhere, a police official requesting anonymity said.
CB-CID sleuths who have already begun the probe, detained three coaches of the train, collected pellets found on the scene and other materials, sources said.
The Tamil Nadu police have alerted railway authorities at various stations from Bangalore to Chennai to look for CCTV footages for suspects and also the point at which the explosive material found its way into the train, sources said.
Two persons, who were travelling by the train, have been detained for questioning, police said but refused to reveal further details.
State DGP K Ramanujam, who visited the mishap site, said "it is a minor blast. It is suspected that Chennai could not have been a target of those who were behind the blast because the train was running late. Some other location could have been the target".
"It is premature to say what kind of device was used in the blast. Damage to the train is not heavy," he added.
DGP (Elections) Anoop Jaiswal said "we are picking up clues and any speculation on this is too premature. Nobody has been arrested so far", he said.