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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Kerala Prayer Meeting Serial Blasts: 48-Year-Old Suspect Surrenders

A series of explosions at a conference centre in Kalamassery, Kerala, today left one woman dead and forty-five injured, causing national alarm. Shortly after the commencement of the prayer service, at least three explosions were reported.

About ten kilometres from Kochi, in the centre of Kalamassery, there was a Jehovah’s Witness conference when the tragedy happened. A 48-year-old man admitted responsibility and turned himself in just hours after the explosions. Dominic Martin, the suspect, has asserted that he is a member of the same Christian church that coordinated the prayer gathering.

Almost two thousand individuals showed up for the meeting today. The first explosion happened in the middle of a prayer, witnesses to the conference centre told the media. According to officials, a tiffin box contained explosives.

The initial explosion happened in the middle of the hall, according to Kalamassery MP Hibi Eden. He also said that the gang had an evacuation plan in place, and it was put into action right away following the initial explosion.

“Luckily, they had an evacuation plan. Every time the group meets, they discuss and prepare an evacuation plan. But there was a lot of smoke, which led to a stampede,” Mr Eden told NDTV.

According to police, 18 of the 45 injured patients receiving care in the district’s hospitals are in the intensive care unit. Five victims of the explosion are in critical condition.

Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief minister of Kerala, called the explosions “unfortunate” and stated that the situation is being taken seriously. The state’s top cops are all en route to the explosion scene.

The National Investigation Agency, which specialises in counterterrorism operations, will now look into the explosions. The forensic team from the agency has already arrived and is gathering evidence.

Images from the event showed a huge number of fire and police workers evacuating individuals from the scene, which has since been obstructed off.

Disturbing videos taken inside the conference centre showed numerous fires within the hall while terrified individuals, including children, could be heard screaming.

In addition, there was footage of some individuals attempting to put out the flames while chairs in the hall were broken and thrown around.

Hundreds of people were observed after the blast outside the convention centre.

Following the explosion, Kerala’s Minister of Health Veena George has ordered all medical personnel to report to work.

In the wake of the serial blasts, security has been heightened in Mumbai and the nation’s capital.

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