July 27, 2008

Timed Ahmedabad blasts kill 18 in hospitals

With chilling ruthlessness, terrorists targeted hospitals in Ahmedabad to maximise casualties on Saturday. Two public hospitals - Civil Hospital and L G Hospital - apart from a private hospital run by VHP’s international general secretary Pravin Togadia - were targeted, killing 18 people.

The blasts were triggered by timer devices to coincide with the rush of victims from other blast sites. Two blasts at Civil Hospital at 7.55 pm and 8.02 pm near the trauma centre killed at least 15 persons, reportedly including two doctors and a medical student. The first blast took place inside an ambulance in the parking lot while the other one, planted on a bicycle, went off soon after that.

The intensity of the blast was so powerful that a person’s body was flung nearly 50m from the spot while another victim’s leg was found nearly 100m away.

Windowpanes on the second floor of the building and windshields of cars parked almost 100m away were also smashed. Patients in nearby wards of the largest public hospital in Gujarat jumped out of their beds and ran for safety.

The blast at LG Hospital went off in a car parked near the emergency ward and killed at least three. When the blast rocked the hospital at 7.45 pm, injured people streaming in from other blast sites were being treated just a few metres away. Windowpanes and glasses in the ward facing the parking lot were blown off.

Panicking relatives moved their injured kin out of the hospital. Sources said the car had been parked there for days.

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