Jhabua blast: People in desperate search of missing kin

Jhabua (Madhya Pradesh), Sep 13 (IANS) Clutching photographs of their relatives, people in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday launched a desperate search for their kin in hospitals, a day after 88 people were killed and over 100 others injured in twin blasts.

Many of the injured were admitted to hospitals in Petlavad, Indore, Ratlam and Dahod in neighbouring Gujarat.

People who survived Saturday’s blast still shiver at the thought.

“I was on my way to work after having tea with my son Ravi, when I heard the news about some ‘sparking’. My son went off to take a look at it. I tried to stop him, but he didn’t listen to me. A moment later, a huge blast occurred and there were bodies lying everywhere. My son was also among them,” said Pushkar, a labourer.

People said many buildings turned into rubble, and they could hear the screams of the victims trapped underneath.

A cylinder blast at a tea stall packed with customers was followed by a massive blast that ripped through an adjoining building in Petlavad in Jhabua, located over 300 km from state capital Bhopal.

Many people were on Sunday found searching among the debris of buildings, holding photocopies of identity documents as well as photographs of their relatives who were missing after the blasts.

People went to the post-mortem departments of hospitals, and to cremation grounds to look for their relatives.

The magnitude of the blasts can be gauged by the manner in which the bodies were being identified by the clothes the victims were wearing on Saturday and by their birthmarks.

Two students, Prince and Prashant, were going to a coaching institute when the blasts occurred.

Their bodies were found on Sunday in a hospital. One of the bodies was headless, and it was identified as that of Prince only by an identity card in his pocket.

The headless torso of Badri Lal was also identified by his relatives by the mark of an earlier wound.

Akshat, a 12-year-old boy, suffered fractures in his legs and injuries to his head. He is undergoing treatment in a hospital in Ratlam, while his parents were killed in Saturday’s incident.

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