At least 1 dead, 40 injured in blasts in India’s Kerala; home minister Amit Shah speaks to CM Vijayan
Teams of elite National Investigation Agency and National Security Guard were sent to the spot to probe the explosions.
People rush to save themselves after a blast at a convention centre in Kalamassery in the Ernakulam district of the southern Indian state of Kerala on Sunday, October 29, 2023. (PTI Photo)
AT LEAST one person was killed while around 40 were injured after a series of blasts rocked a convention centre in Kalamassery area of Kochi in Ernakulam district of the southern Indian state of Kerala on Sunday (29).
The explosions reportedly took place minutes after a prayer meeting started at the centre. The police were yet to ascertain the cause of the blasts and an investigation was underway.
Kerala is India’s only communist-ruled state.
Visuals emerging from the spot of the blasts showed multiple fires and children screaming and people rushing to save their lives. Some people were also seen trying to douse the fire while several chairs were seen going up in flames.
Local police sources said they received calls about the blasts and help around 9 am in the morning.
Rescue teams also went to the spot along with police and fire officials as hundreds gathered outside the centre.
Ten people had serious burn injuries, including a 10-year-old whose condition was said to be serious, Kerala’s health minister Veena George said, adding that the number of injured could go up to 50.
The minister also said that the blasts happened at the centre of the conventional hall.
Home minister speaks with Kerala chief minister
Indian home minister Amit Shah spoke with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and took stock of the situation in the state following the blasts, Asian News International reported. He also instructed the elite National Investigation Agency NIA and National Security Guard to reach on the spot and begin an investigation.
Shashi Tharoor, a parliamentarian from Kerala and a former minister in India’s federal government, reacted to the incident in a post on X saying he was “shocked and dismayed” and condemned it and sought swift police action.