New Delhi: At least one person was killed and 23 injured in a series of blasts at a convention centre in Kerala’s Kalamassery today, officials said. At least three blasts were reported within minutes after the prayer meeting started.
The incident took place during a Jehovah’s Witnesses convention at the centre in Kalamassery, about 10 kilometres from Kochi. The prayer meet was attended by nearly 2,000 people.
People who were present at the convention centre told the media that the first blast occurred in the middle of a prayer.
“Subsequently, we heard two more blasts,” an old lady who was inside the centre said.
Kerala chief Pinarayi Vijayan termed the blasts as ‘unfortunate’ and said that the situation is being viewed seriously. All senior police officials in the state are on their way to the blast site.
Kerala Health Minister Veena George has directed all healthcare workers to report for duty in the wake of the blast.
The cause of the blast is not known yet, and will now be probed by the National Investigation Agency. The agency’s forensic team has already reached the spot and is collecting evidence.
Visuals of the incident showed fire rescue and police personnel in large numbers evacuating people from the site, which has now been cordoned off.
Disturbing videos from inside the convention centre showed multiple fires inside the hall as people and children were heard screaming in fear.
The video also showed some people trying to quell the fires as the hall was littered with scattered and damaged chairs.
Hundreds of people were seen outside the convention centre post the explosion.
(This story is not edited by Press Exclusive and published from a syndicated feed)