Mysterious blast in stranded bus rocks Udhampur town; 2 injured

Bus damaged in mysterious blast at Domail Chowk Udhampur on Wednesday evening. — Excelsior/K Kumar
Bus damaged in mysterious blast at Domail Chowk Udhampur on Wednesday evening. — Excelsior/K Kumar

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Sept 27: A mysterious blast in a stranded bus rocked Udhampur town late this evening, resulting into injuries to two persons.
The blast took place around 10.30 pm in a passenger bus parked near Petrol Pump at Domail Chowk, under the jurisdiction of Udhampur Police Station. Conductor of the bus along with another person, who was sitting inside, sustained minor injuries in the blast.
Hearing sound of the blast, Police and locals rushed to the spot and shifted the injured persons to District Hospital Udhampur for treatment. Their condition was stated to be stable.
Injured conductor of the bus is learnt to have told Police that around 7.70 pm, two unidentified persons had approached him seeking permission to load a mattress and two other items on rooftop of the bus for transportation of the same to Ramnagar next morning. Soon after they loaded the items on the bus, the duo left the spot and there was explosion around three hours after that.
According to the eyewitness accounts, there was a deafening sound of the blast and a portion of the bus roof along with its window panes were damaged in the incident triggering panic in the area.
Reports said that the bus, bearing registration number JK14D-6857, is used to be parked there daily after routine day service on its Udhampur-Ramnagar-Basantgarh route from 8 am to 6 pm.
Type of the blast and material used for the explosion could not be ascertained as Police and allied agencies were investigating the matter till filling of this report. Police officers were tightlipped over the incident and did not respond to the repeated phone calls for divulging the details.
Even as there was no passenger in the stranded bus, which was parked there since 6 pm, its conductor along with his friend were sitting inside near the driver’s cabin and sustained minor injuries in the blast.
They were identified as Conductor Sunil Singh (27), son of Jattu Ram of Pringla, Ramnagar and his friend Vijay Kumar (40), son of Om Parkash of Jaganoo.
As the passenger bus, in which the blast took place, was parked near Petrol Pump, a major tragedy could have taken place. This was the second incident of blast in Udhampur town after March 9 this year when a sticky bomb planted at Slathia Chowk in Udhampur had exploded causing death of one person and injuries to 17 others.