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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 April 2024

Nine injured after explosive goes off during lunchtime rush in Bangalore restaurant

The blast is said to have occurred around 1pm near the handwash area inside the Rameshwaram Cafe in Kundalahalli, Whitefield

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 02.03.24, 08:40 AM
Staff and customers run out of Rameshwaram Cafe in Bangalore after the blast on Friday.

Staff and customers run out of Rameshwaram Cafe in Bangalore after the blast on Friday. PTI picture

A low-intensity blast at a popular vegetarian restaurant in Bangalore’s IT hub of Whitefield during the lunchtime rush on Friday has left nine people injured.

The blast is said to have occurred around 1pm near the handwash area inside the Rameshwaram Cafe in Kundalahalli, Whitefield.

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Chief minister Siddaramaiah hinted that the bomb may have been in a bag left near the wash basin. “It is said there was a bag…. I’m told it was an IED (improvised explosive device),” he said.

Police and emergency services, including a bomb squad and a dog squad that arrived within minutes, sealed the area as the injured — customers and employees — were rushed to nearby hospitals.

The restaurant’s founder and managing director, Divya Raghavendra, ruled out a gas cylinder blast. She said all the gas cylinders were kept at the back of the restaurant, which is not where the blast happened.

Karnataka home minister G. Parameshwar refused to jump to conclusions, telling reporters he would make a statement based on the findings of the police and the
forensic team.

Eyewitnesses from the street outside told reporters they heard the blast and saw the restaurant engulfed in thick smoke as people ran out in panic.

Police personnel at the Rameshwaram Cafe after a blast, in Bengaluru, Friday, March 1, 2024. At least nine people were injured in the blast, according to police.

Police personnel at the Rameshwaram Cafe after a blast, in Bengaluru, Friday, March 1, 2024. At least nine people were injured in the blast, according to police.

Security camera visuals from inside the restaurant showed the blast sending employees and customers, some of whom had queued up at the prepaid counters, running out while a few fell to the ground because of the impact.

Six of the injured were rushed to one hospital and the remaining three to another. Both hospitals confirmed that none of the injuries was life-threatening.

Dr Pradeep Kumar, medical director at Brookefield Hospital where three of the patients were admitted, told reporters that a woman aged around 45 had suffered 40 per cent burns, and another victim had glass-shard injuries.

“She (the woman with 40 per cent burns) has been moved to the ICU since she needs expert care. But her injuries are not life-threatening,” Kumar said.

He added: “From the injuries, this looks like a low-intensity blast. A severe blast would have resulted in rip-off injuries: the skin would have peeled off, the skull would have opened up and there would have been severe bone injuries.”

Kumar said the victims’ clothes would be handed over to the forensic team to help them identify the explosives used.

Some of those taken to the other hospital were bleeding from their injuries, suspected to be the result of shrapnel and glass shards.

All nine injured complained of tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and were in shock, doctors at the two hospitals said.

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