Live Updates: Mumbai Blasts

Source : SIFY
Last Updated: Thu, Jul 14, 2011 14:00 hrs
Three blasts rock Mumbai <br>

A string of powerful bombs (Images) went off in three busy areas of Mumbai during evening rush hour Wednesday, between 6:50 pm and 7:04 pm. The attacks have killed 18 people and injured over 131, of whom 23 are seriously injured.

Images: 92 blasts in 2 decades | Scenes from the blast sites | Timeline | More

Discussion: Who do you think is responsible for blasts in Mumbai?

Follow this live update as we bring you the latest.

7: 30 pm: PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi have arrived in Mumbai. They are shortly expected to visit the injured in the hospitals and reach the site of the blasts.

7: 00 pm:
The government has not ruled out the hand of a suicide bomber in the blasts.
Preliminary findings discovered a body with circuits attached to it in one of the blast sites.

6: 30 pm:
ATS has begin its probe into the blasts and has already registered three cases.

Meanwhile, opposition leader L K Advani has said that the attack is not the result of Intel failure but a result of the failure in policies adopted by the government.

6: 00 pm:
Preliminary investigations point to a deadly cocktail -- involving a mix of
ammonium nitrate, explosive TNT, oil and ball bearings -- of bombs being used in the explosions.

5.25 pm:
Head of Mumbai ATS Rakesh Mayriya made a statement requesting people to have faith in the investigating agencies.

He promised that the accused would be bought to justice and that all angles were being effectively investigated.

He however refused to give out any information over the methods they are using to investigate the blasts.

He also formally declared that the ATS would be taking over the investigation of the blasts.

In a rather strange move however he reminded the public that the investigating agencies had identified the accused in every single Mumbai attack and so they would do so in this case as well.

The statement came after a reporter asked the ATS head why the people should trust him. Perhaps he did not realise that people were angry that the attacks happened in the first place, not that the attackers remained anonymous.

4.41 pm: Abhishek Singhvi hosts a press conference on behalf of the Congress. He had some stern words in what appears to be an attempt to hit back at the critics of the Government.

In his statement he said that while terrorists need to succeed only once, security forces need to succeed every time. He defended Rahul Gandhi's statements saying that what he said was "only common sense."

He also asked the Opposition not to spread rumours and panic in the country by making inflammatory statements.

In a veiled attack about both Advani and Pakistan, Singhvi said that the Indian security system could not be compared to the US as India faced a very different geographical and political situation and thus was more vulnerable and faced stronger threats.

4.02 pm: Some more updates on the bomb itself as the details of the bombs are being slowly accumulated.

Over one kg of explosives was used in two of the bombs. The explosive material is believed to be a mixture of ammonium nitrate and TNT. Ball bearings were used as shrapnel in the bombs. The alarm systems in cell phones were used to trigger the blasts although no SIM cards have been found.

No further news on the supposed 'suicide bomber' has been given out.

3.47 pm: We collected some reactions from Sify users on the Mumbai blasts.

Posted by DDe on Jul 14, 2011 13:18 PM

Our intelligence is as smart as the list of 50 Terrorists given to Pak. It shows how serious our Intelligence is about the whole thing. PC should do his homework first.

Read More

Let us know what you think as well here

3.01 pm: The 'electric circuits' found on a body is a very vague piece of evidence but it could point to a suicide bomber. Do you feel it could be a suicide bombers? Let us know in the comment section below.

2.51 pm: The Prime Minister and Congress party president Sonia Gandhi will be visiting the blast sites in Mumbai today evening. He will be visit the blast sites and the hospitals where the victims have been lodged.

He may also hold a review meeting.

Although it is not usual for the Prime Minister to visit terror attack sites, this step seems to be a response to the public and opposition anger against the UPA.

2.50 pm: The government has not ruled out the possibility of the involvement of a suicide bomber in Mumbai serial blasts, Home Secretary R K Singh said today.

"The NSG DG has informed that a body with circuit has been found from one of the sites. The body was found near the explosion site. We are not ruling out anything," he told reporters here.

Singh was replying to a question about the possibility of the involvement of a suicide bomber in yesterday's blasts as the body was found with a circuit near one of the blast sites.

"The investigation is still on," he said.

2.45 pm: Shaken, but Zaveri Bazar jewellers won't shift

A third bomb blast in two decades at Zaveri Bazar - Mumbai's most popular address for gems and jewellery - has left its jewellers and diamond merchants shocked and concerned about business. But they are staying put.

When asked if the merchants would like to move out, most refused.

'What is the point in shifting base? Are other business locations safer,' asked Raju Solanki, a gold jeweller whose 60-year-old shop is barely 200 metres from the blast site.

Read More

2.40 pm: Here is the investigation so far -

The National Investigating Agency, several Central teams and the Mumbai police are investigating the blasts.

The Dadar bomb had the lowest intensity. It was placed over a bus shelter.

The bomb in Opera House was concealed in a garbage dump. This blast caused the most deaths - 11 and injuries - 73.

In Zaveri Bazaar the blast was the strongest. It was hidden under a motorcycle in an umbrella and killed six people.

The bombs were constructed using ammonium nitrates, fuel and timers. The bombs went off within minutes of each other proving it was a coordinated attack.

The CCTV cameras installed in Dadar and Opera House are proving crucial in analyzing the situation during and immediately after the blasts.

No group has been formally accused for the blasts and no one has come forward to take responsibility either.

Mumbai itself has been closed off and there are high alerts in the other metros as well.

As before, the agencies requested that no form of speculation or rumours be spread across the country and that all angles would be completely explored.

2.30 pm: Prime Minister Manmohan SIngh announced the Centre's compensation package for the victims of the blasts. The PM said Rs two lakhs would be given to the kin of the deceased and Rs one lakh would be paid to the injured.

2.28 pm: L. K. Advani is hosting a press conference on the Mumbai attacks. some excerpts -

"Mumbai has become a favourite target of terrorists -whether they are from neighbouring countries or from here..."

"It is not an intelligence failure, it is a failure of policy and a failure by the government of India..."

"BJP has and always had a zero-tolerance on terrorism..."

"This is a proxy war from across the border..."

Advani on Rahul's statement that terrorist attacks cannot be stopped from occurring -

"I feel that though the US is a democracy similar to us, as far as I am aware no terrorist attack have occured on American soil since 9/11"

2.12 pm:   Senior BJP leader LK Advani visited Opera House this morning and also met those injured in the terror attack.

1.55 pm: Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan has taken a dig over the way media covers tragedies like the latest Mumbai serial blasts.

"Yet again our city of Mumbai has been made the target of a brutal attack. Once again there shall be concerned voices raised by those in authority. Once again Mumbai will show its resilience and get back to work as rapidly as possible.

"Once again TV channels shall give exclusive reports from the site of the action, claiming, how they were the first to bring this tragedy to your doorstep," Bachchan blogged.

1.32 pm: The Maharashtra government announced a compensation of Rs five lakh to the families of those killed and Rs 50,000 to those injured in the triple bomb blasts that rocked Mumbai on Wednesday.

1.06 pm: Twitter has been on the forefront of the post-blast disaster relief.

Tweets began almost the instant the blasts occurred with hundreds of strangers offering help, rescue efforts and lifts to the wounded or the stranded.

Soon the tweets began to direct people home, give tips on how to avoid jams and also suggest places to stop for a while. The efforts came as salvation to many who found themselves at a complete loss in the aftermath, with official responses being sluggish and unhelpful.

Among the notables was the tag #here2help which provided information an phone numbers. Also spreadsheets were created using Google docs and shared among the fraternity which listed the names and contact details of those willing to help.

Once the phones became jammed there were even tweets giving exact locations of those in trouble and requesting anyone in the area to go give them help. Kudos to those who actually did that.

Here are some tweets on the subject :

Most were trying to help -

Puneet Sandhu

Seriously, people. Blame Pakistan/terrorists/whoever else you think is responsible later. Go help someone first. #Mumbaiblasts

Dina Mehta

mumbai help spreadsheet - offers of help across the city being compiled in an open doc…


Some were resigned -

Alap Ghosh

I don't wish that we hang Kasab, I only wish that we, the people, are offered the same level of protection as he is.

Ashish Belagali

Some rogues planted bombs. Innocents got killed. The wise rushed to the need of the hour. Hats off to all those who helped


Others tried to lighten the mood (very few of these) -

Vikas Nowal

Baba #ramdev, come and initiate a fast & protest against #mumbaiblasts.


Others were angry at the press -


india TV journalist to victims father :aapko kaisa lag raha hai ki faiz(victim) nahin rahe #mumbaiblasts,wish she could experience the same.

Mahesh Murthy

Dear @BDutt & @NDTV why repeat 26/11 goofups with #MumbaiBlasts ? Don't show locations of security ppl, blast close-ups


Many were angry at the government -

Ravinder Grover

Very Sorry PC. what!!! if not failure!! Ask relatives #Mumbaiblasts not failure of intelligence agencies


how long will it take for our country, to have a basic disaster response system in place?


Others tweeted about tweeting -

Sanjay vyas

RT @hotbubbble: No matter what u do other days but don't sound animated on #mumbaiblasts rather don't tweet if u have no concerns.


Those who still think twitter n facebook r means of idle gossip shud luk at d help provided thru these last night #mumbaiblasts


Some were saying out loud the thought in all of our minds -

Nitin Pai

No one claimed responsibility yet. #Mumbaiblasts


And the few, the very few, thought sharing grizzly photos was the way to go -

Andy Carvin

Horrifying, graphic photo from the scene of one of the #mumbaiblasts: blood everywhere, a body, shoes.

12.41 pm: The Pakistani press has taken the Mumbai attacks into its front pages, giving the event extensive coverage with banner headlines and photographs. Which is not really surprising since it is the news event in south-Asia.

The Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani and President Zardari also condemned the events issuing a statement saying - “The president and the prime minister have expressed their deepest sympathies to the Indian leadership on the loss of lives, injuries and damage to property in Mumbai,”

12.33 pm: Was the blasts an attempt to affect the new Indo-Pak talks?

It is a possibility but a slim one for now.

Even the Home Minister admitted that in the current time we simply do not know what the motivations where and that the investigation was completely open-minded to any possibility.

Chidambaram also requested the media to keep the speculation at a minimum, which is proving hard to do. 

However if the idea is to influence diplomacy then the attackers are taking their time in making it publicly known and so reducing the impact it might have had.

12.11 pm: Some political updates - Maharashtra CM Chavan has announced a compensation of 5 lakhs for the victims of the attacks.

Also Home Minister Chidambaram has dismissed any possibility of a intelligence failure. But he did crack his famously icy facade slightly saying that "this one has slipped through the cracks."

In general the political tone seems to be one of subdued action. There have been no scenes of outright rage or immediate denunciations of Pakistan. Instead all government agencies are buckling down and trying to solve the mystery behind the blast as soon as possible.

The only lead in the investigation so far has been the traces of fuel and ammonium nitrate pointing towards a crude fertilizer bomb.

12.00 pm: You know why we all cringe when we hear a cliche? It’s because using a cliche usually represents the forcibly addition of a generalisation or stereotype over a complex situation.

So here is India’s most cringe-worthy cliche – The spirit of Mumbai.

Read more - No choice does not equal ‘Spirit of Mumbai’

11.55 am: The date 13 is now being considered as a perhaps indicative of a pattern. Major attacks in the country have all occurred around this day- The German Bakery blasts and other earlier blasts as well. It could be a sign that a single group has been organizing these attacks.

11.40 am: Rahul Gandhi has decided to put on a brave face. In a press conference held in the morning he declared that it was hard to stop all attacks but "99 percent" of the attacks have been stopped but tat we need to stop "100 percent".

We know already know and understand that part Mr. Gandhi. But the government might appreciate the thumbs up.

Read full story

11.15 am: The investigation itself hinges on several aspects but a significant part of it rests on cameras.

Dadar and Opera House had CCTV's installed so they might prove crucial in identifying the culprits. Plus a significant number of witnesses took pictures and videos practically the instant the bombs went off, so that might prove an unexpected valuable addition to the investigation.

Also the bombs themselves are quite unique and do not match the MO of any particular group. Although investigations are still ongoing it appears that it was not an IED blast with remote detonation but fuel bombs triggered through timers. 

11.00 am: Who perpetrated the attacks remains a mystery.

Usually by this time news agencies receive emails or a tip-off from terrorist groups desperate to take 'credit' for their acts.

But this time the silence is absolute. It is hard to believe that no one wants to take responsibility for the attacks. So either the attack organizers are still working on their media package OR the police is ensuring that their claims are not being made public.

10.54 am: About 16 hours after the attack the theories are flying thick and fast.  Speculations in the Times of India is ranging form an underworld connection - like the Dawood arranged blasts in 1993 - to Kashmiri terrorists. The favorites remain outside terrorists groups from our neighbours. 

Read full report

10.42 am: Chidambaram has wrapped up his press conference with an appeal to the media. He has promised a press briefing every two hours and also promised that all information would be shared.

He also asked the press to inform the police of any additional information that the might uncover BEFORE releasing it to the wider public.

10.41 am: Reactions are already coming in for P. Chidambaram's marathon press conference.

Andrew Buncombe - Asia Correspondent of The Independent newspaper

Chidambaram is starting to sound like Donald Rumsfeld. 'Just because there is no Intel on an incident, this doesn't mean it was Intel failure'.

10.35 am: Regarding Ajmal Kasab -

There have been statements and rumours floating around that the attacks, either co-incidentally or intentionally, took place on the birthday of Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the previous 26/11 attacks.

Readers please note that there is no official proof of any such co-relation. (Wikipedia is not concrete evidence of the fact.)

And even then, let us not fall into the trap of assuming that Kasab was some famous or even note-worthy terrorist. He is just someone who joined the LeT as a way to make easy money.

None of his LeT friends care about him. In fact they were possibly surprised that he even survived as it was expected to be a suicide mission.

10.23 am: Twitter in general has been sympathetic and supportive. Although a few tweets do stand out for their emotion or clarity. Here are a few examples -

Keithdsouza Keith Dsouza

Yes dear Indian newspapers, we were really touched by Aishwarya Rai postponing her French Award, anyone else stopped shooting a movie too?

Anupam Kher

I am sick and tired of people making 'Politically Correct' statements. They usually come from those who are least affected by the tragedy.

Pritish Nandy

Why wasnt the CM at the accident sites instantly to connect with those who were hurt, scared, bereaved?

piyushbhatia pb

News retards, its not spirit of Mumbai that trains & roads are full. Its just we need to go to work and there isn't another way!

10.20 am:

Ongoing press conference by the home Minister Chidambaram. Some excerpts -

"23 are seriously injured. Some of these people are critical"

"All groups that are capable of carrying out such attacks are suspects"

"Blasts sites have been cordoned off; people will not be allowed there"

"Death toll in the Mumbai blasts is 18 including that of a severed head which is yet to be identified"

"We will probe every hostile group. We are not ruling out anything"

"We have made it clear to Maharashtra Police not to rule out any angle"

"The terror group chose targets with high population density"

10.13 am: While the official press conference continues into an extended question round we can take a look at some of the angles being covered by other news agencies in India -

Mid Day

Did the Mumbai police hamper the long-term investigation of the blasts through amateur handling of the evidence? According to the Mid Day report the first cops to show up at the scene of the blasts cleared debris from the site and possibly eradicated crucial evidence.

Read full report

10.09 am:

Ongoing press conference by the home Minister Chidambaram. Some excerpts -

"Allow police to complete their investigation before pointing fingers at anyone."

"There are inherent difficulties for the Mumbai police to monitor every single inch of the Mumbai, vendors and people present at the time did not notice the placement of the bombs.”

"The police have stopped many terror threats, but unfortunately this attack has slipped through"

"Every city in India and all over the world is vulnerable. In 2011 alone there have 16 major terror attacks."

"We live in the most troubled neighbourhood in the world. Pakistan and Afghanistan is a nexus for terror and we are their neighbours."

9. 00 am: UNSC, world leaders slam terror strike in Mumbai

8: 00 am: Mumbai blasts: CM takes stock of situation

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday took stock of the situation here with top police officials who apprised him of the investigations into Wednesday's serial blasts. More

7: 00 am:
Maha govt to bear treatment cost of injured, says CM

12: 30 am:
Here's a timeline on the explosions to rock Mumbai this evening. The serial blasts have left 21 dead and at least 141 injured. That's the latest on the toll tonight. Below is the timeline of events following the triple blasts.

12: 15 pm:
If that 13th factor wasn't an odd coincidence then everybody's favourite convict, Ajmal Kasab's birthday was apparently today. Would he consider this dastardly act a birthday gift?

12:00 am: Superstitious or not, 13 apparently is the cursed number, at least when it comes to terror attacks in India soil -- for there have been at least four blasts that have taken place on that jinxed date in the last three years.

July 14

11: 45 pm: National and worldwide condemnation has been pouring in, everyone from our PM to the US President Barack Obama to our "not-so-terror-friendly" neighbours, Pakistan have expressed their condolences for the victims.

11: 40 pm: Eyewitness accounts of the blasts:

A powerful blast, and then pools of blood

He heard a deafening sound and then the building rattled

11: 35 pm: With bodies of injured and dead pouring into the hospitals, the city's medical wards are struggling to cope with the numbers.

11: 30 pm: PC will soon land in Mumbai to assess the situation.

11: 20 pm: Bollywood reacts -

"Bomb blasts in Mumbai! God! I hope people are safe," Amitabh Bachchan said on twitter.

His son Abhishek Bachchan said: "Hope and pray that you people are safe and home."

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma said, "Apparently it's Kasab's birthday today and it looks like they are celebrating with bombs rather than with crackers."

"Shocked to hear the news of the blasts. Prayers for all who have suffered. And Be safe and stay home," actor Riteish Deshmukh said.

"Cowards strike again! Condolence to all who have lost someone dear. To the rest, please do not panic. Get home safe," actor-producer Farhan Akhtar said.

Actor Shahid Kapoor tweeted: "3 blasts in Mumbai. Please head home!"

"...This is pure nonsense. We only talk big... Not a single lesson learnt after things that's already happened," actor Neil Nitin Mukesh said.

Tennis player-turned-producer, Mahesh Bhupathi, tweeted, "If someone can explain how bombing innocent civilians solves anything I am all ears... God bless us all."

11: 00 pm: The Home Minister P Chidambaram said the NIA officers sent in to help with the investigations would aid the Mumbai Police with the operations. PC also said the serial blasts were a "coordinated attack by the terrorists".

10: 30 pm: The Home Ministry has backtracked on the earlier speculations that came out of the office concerning the prime terror suspects (IM) and said that it would be 'premature' to name the outfit behind the blasts.

10 pm:
Experts fear that heavy rain could wash off crucial evidence wrecking any investigation into the attack.

9: 40 pm:
India has been a victim of numerous terrorist attacks in the recent past, and here's a chronology listing the recent attacks.

9: 35 pm: The number of dead in the blasts has risen to 17, Associated Press confirms.

9: 30 pm: If you are trying to get more info on your loved ones, try these helpline numbers:
KEM Hospital (022-24136051), Nair (022-23085379), Harkishandas (23855555 / 30095555), Saifee (22 6757 0111)

More emergency numbers: 022-22621855; 022-22621983; 022-22625020; 022-22641449; 022-22620111

9: 20 pm: Former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan said at prima facie the explosions look pre-planned.

9: 10 pm: Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan on NDTV confirmed that 13 people are dead and 81 injured.

9: 00 pm:
The Home Minister, P Chidambaram put the official dead count at 10 and injured at 54. He also expected the death toll to rise.

8: 50 pm:
The city police chief fears at least 15 people are dead.

8: 45 pm: The Shiv Sena are already voicing for the capture of the culprits behind the attacks. Shiv Sena MP Manohar Joshi said the government must react against the latest terror strikes to haunt the financial capital.

8: 40 pm:
The Home Secretary of Maharashtra has confirmed that about 100 people have been injured and have been shifted to nearby hospitals, NDTV reported. The majority of the injured were victims of the Zaveri Bazaar blast.

All three blasts took place during rush hour and in crowded places.

8: 35 pm: The Mumbai Police suspect the hand of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) behind the blasts. The Home Ministry also suspects that IM, working closely with the Lashkar e Taiba (LeT), are behind these attacks.

8: 25 pm:
The Home Ministry has confirmed that Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) were used in all three explosions.

8: 15 pm: Associated Press confirms that atleast 70 people are injured.

8: 10 pm: Three anti-terror squads have been dispatched to assess the situation in Mumbai. BSF plane leaves for Mumbai with NSG personnel and forensic experts, the home ministry has confirmed.

8: 05 pm: One of the cars, which carried the bomb, is registered to a local address in Navi Mumbai.

8: 00 pm: The bomb at Zaveri Bazaar was planted on an electric pole. The blast at Dadar took place at a bus stop.
This is not the first time that terrorists have targeted Zaveri Bazaar. It was hit once before -- in the twin blasts in 2002, where more than 50 people were killed.

7: 57 pm: The Home ministry has put the NSG team on standby. High alert has been issued across the country.

7: 56 pm: One explosion is reported to have taken place in a car in Dadar.

7: 55 pm: The Mumbai Police are probing a tiffin box found near one of the blast sites.

7: 50 pm: An official at the city's Police Control Room told Associated Press that one blast took place at the crowded neighborhood of Dadar in central Mumbai. The other two were at the famed jewelry market Zaveri Bazaar and the busy business district of Opera House.

7: 45 pm: Atleast 10 people are reported to be killed, while 20 injured in the blasts.

7: 40 pm:
The Home Ministry has confirmed that it's a terrorist attack.

7: 35 pm: NDTV confirms 3 blasts, all taking place between 6.30 and 7 in the evening. Four were reported to be killed in one blast.

7: 30 pm: Atleast three explosions, one in Central Mumbai and two in South Mumbai, have been reported.

One explosion in Dadar has been confirmed, while another is reported to have taken place in Churchgate and another near Opera gate.

Reports say that the explosion in Dadar took place behind a temple.

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