Saturday carnival mood disrupted

Saturday carnival mood disrupted

The spectators, who had come to Chinnaswamy Stadium to watch the IPL cricket match between Royal Challengers  Bangalore and Mumbai Indians were shocked to hear the blast news. dh photo

Akram Rahman, posted as security in-charge outside Gate No 12 (B stand) of the stadium was busy checking tickets at the entrance around 3.15 pm when he heard a loud sound behind him.

Reliving the shocking moment, he said, “Smoke filled the place and I closed my eyes involuntarily for a couple of seconds. When I opened them, I found a security guard bleeding profusely from the head and realised a blast had occured.” The strong police force around the stadium to provide security for the IPL match rushed to the spot and soon an ambulance arrrived, he said.

Due to safety reasons, the crowd lining outside the gate and the adjacent gate (No 11) were barred entry inside the stadium. They were made to move away from the spot, he added. “After 30 minutes when it was learnt that it was a mere low intensity blast, the fans at these gates were permitted to go inside to watch the match,” Rahman said. The crowds were getting restive worried that the match must have commenced but relaxed when they received the news through mobile phones that the match would be delayed.

In his 15 years of service as security officer of Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), Rahman had never experienced anything like this. "My wife panicked when the TV channels started airing the news," he said.

Rehman said the checking began around 2 pm and nearly two thousand people had been let in before the blast occurred. Generally, about four thousand people enter from this stand, he said. The increased police presence at the spot and the words “bomb” and “blast” doing the round ensured that all vehicles passing through Cubbon Road proceeded at a snail’s pace.

Traffic chaos

Meanwhile, the second blast outside the ADGP office near Anil Kumble Circle resulted in traffic chaos on M G Road between Cubbon Park and Anil Kumble Circle. With the top brass of police rushing here with their cars and jeeps, half the road was packed with police and pressmen and curious onlookers from the four surrounding roads joined in desperately trying to get some details about the happenings.

Sniffer dogs and the presence of bomb detection squad with metal detectors added to the rumours coming in through mobiles. Police put up barricades along half the road adjoining the blast site between 3.45 pm and 4.45 pm Again, vehicles began proceeding at a slow pace with everyone on the road curious to know the details. 

Some families left the venue out of fear on hearing the news. A 12-member family from Wilson Garden, who had reached the stadium rushed out of the Stadium. “We heard about the blast and are scared and we do not want to be around,” said a woman refusing to give her name. Security personnel manning the various gates conceded that a few people did leave the stadium. “I can recall at least 30 individuals walking out after the news spread,” added a ticket staffer outside Gate No 6.

Once, the match commenced at 5 pm and the screams of fans rent the air, tension subsided. The usual scenes of fans begging for “just one ticket” and the jostle for parking space commenced and life resumed normalcy here. 

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