Blast at cafe in India’s Bengaluru injures 8, authorities say

Published March 1, 2024
[3/3] A police officer stands guard after a blast at a popular cafe in technology hub of Bengaluru, India, March 1, 2024. — Reuters
[3/3] A police officer stands guard after a blast at a popular cafe in technology hub of Bengaluru, India, March 1, 2024. — Reuters

At least eight people were injured when a suspected homemade bomb exploded during lunch hour at a cafe in India’s technology hub of Bengaluru on Friday, authorities said.

The blast at Rameshwaram Cafe in the east of the city occurred just after 1pm when crowds from nearby offices were lined up for a quick meal.

“It seems someone kept a bag and left and it exploded … it was not a big explosion,” Siddaramaiah, the chief minister of Karnataka state of which Bengaluru is the capital, told reporters.

Investigators suspect it was an improvised explosive device, said Siddaramaiah, who uses only one name, adding that eight people were injured.

State Home (interior) Minister G. Parameshwara said all the injured were in hospital and none of them were in danger.

Divya Raghavendra Rao, co-founder and managing director of the cafe chain, said she was told there were two explosions within 10 seconds of each other.

“It happened in the area where customers wash their hands … something that was kept in a bag exploded,” Rao told the local TV9 news channel.

The cafe had given its CCTV footage to help police investigate the cause of the blast, she said.

Mobile camera videos shot soon after the blast, and aired by local TV channels, showed a cloud of smoke in the restaurant and one employee walking away with his hands covering his ears.

Some injured men were being helped to walk away by employees, their hands wrapped in bandages. A pillar inside the cafe was damaged from the impact of the explosion.

“I heard a loud sound and rushed to the spot and could see some smoke,” Shabarish, a witness, told TV9.

Some people had injuries on their arms and legs, and identification cards were strewn around the cafe in the chaos, he added.

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