Blast may dampen spirit in build-up to 2015

Horror at night: New Year's Eve may not be the same this time on MG Road, Church Street

Blast may dampen spirit  in build-up to 2015

Sunday evening was meant for chilling out for Bengalureans on Church Street. But it turned out to be a horrifying date with tragedy for them as the blast struck Coconut Grove restaurant.

The fact that December 28 coincided with the day when there was a terror attack at the Indian Institute of Science in 2005, in which a scientist was killed, only added to the gravity of the incident.

People in the vicinity rushed to the spot as soon as they heard the blast. Initially, it was considered a gas cylinder blast, but it soon turned out that it was a low-intensity blast. The mood on the iconic lane, decked up for New Year, tensed up. Church Street and M G Road are favourite haunts for New Year revellers.

The City police rushed to the spot, cordoned off the road and stopped vehicles from entering the stretch. Onlookers who were seen discussing the incident were asked to leave the place by the police.

Madhusudan, an eyewitness, said that they were standing outside a bookshop next to the blast site when they heard a loud noise. They said that a few customers standing outside the restaurant were injured in the blast.

“It did not take much time to realise that it was a blast,” said another eyewitness.
Securitymen outside Barton Centre said that they heard a loud sound. Panic-stricken people posted about the incident on WhatsApp and other social media. Screams were heard all around and people were trying to help the injured.

M R Vinay, a 39-year-old employee with IBM, and his friend H Sandeep, an employee with iGate, were waiting outside Coconut Grove for their friend to come when the blast occurred. The two have suffered injuries in the blast.

“We realised we were injured when we started walking,” said one of them. According to them, when they heard the noise, everything seemed normal and there was no panic. But soon things changed, with action everywhere.

The incident, police sources said, will have an impact on the New Year celebrations as they will have to impose more restrictions. Police Commissioner M N Reddi, who visited the spot, said that they may have to reassess the steps taken for the New Year in the wake of the blast.

Perhaps, Church Street—a favourite hangout for the City’s hep crowd—will never be the same again, at least for some time to come. 

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