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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Commuters describe bombs horror
By Monica Chadha
BBC News, Mumbai

Blast site in Mumbai, India
The explosions occurred during evening rush hour
There was absolute chaos in Mumbai (Bombay) after seven explosions at different points on the Western Railway network during peak hour.

All Western Railway trains were stopped immediately and people were asked to get off.

On one of the trains near Santa Cruz station, the injured were moved with the help of locals who lived in buildings and slums nearby.

Paramjit Singh, a resident of a nearby building, told the BBC he rushed out when he heard a huge sound. "I saw the locals gathering here quickly and moving the bodies. It was difficult to say whether they were alive or dead. Some of them had their limbs missing."

Police blockade

The injured were taken to nearby hospitals. The train was cleared of all commuters and locals formed a line near the train to stop any onlookers or journalists going too near the train.

Many of them got angry when I tried to take a picture, telling me to leave in no uncertain terms.

Mumbai rail commuters
Many commuters do not know how they will get home

A passenger who was travelling in another train said he heard a huge explosion, and when his train stopped, he made his way to the affected carriage.

He saw locals moving the injured out of the compartment and taking them to hospitals.

On the other side, the police had cordoned off the area and were stopping anyone from going too near the site of the blast.

One of them said: "It's for your own safety, there could be something else on the train that might go off."

Networks jammed

But it was still possible to go past them and see the damage. At Santa Cruz station the explosion took place in the first-class male compartment, and the impact had flattened one side and ripped apart another.

Most of the passengers started walking back on the tracks as soon as it became clear that the trains would not be moving at all.

Another passenger on a different train said: "I heard a big explosion, turned around and saw injured and dead people in the first-class compartment. The seats were torn, some of those who were injured were on the tracks. I helped take out about three or four people. I was scared but I had to help."

The telephone networks were jammed as people frantically tried to reach their families, but no-one could get through.

Stations were jammed with people thinking about how they would get home. Roads were jammed as rail passengers took to the streets.

Ambulances rushed the injured to hospitals, while police set up check posts at various areas in the city to round up anyone deemed suspicious.

A railway spokesman told the BBC that the bombings must have been planned extensively because they were carried out so systematically.

"The explosions on all seven trains took place in or near the first-class compartments. They were planted during peak hour on the outgoing route - Churchgate to the northern suburbs - where there is most traffic.

"We stopped all our Western Railway trains from 1835 [local time] onwards and will not be running any of them tonight," he said.




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