New Delhi (EFE).- At least one person died and 36 others were injured this Sunday in an explosion at a meeting in a convention center of a Christian religious organization in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
“There was an explosion at Zamra International Convention and Exhibition Center (located in Kochi, Kerala) in which one person died and 36 people are receiving treatment,” Kerala Police Director General Shaik Darvesh told reporters.
The explosion took place around 9:40 local time (4:10 GMT), when the regional convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses was held, the agent said.
Several local media citing witnesses indicated that there was more than one explosion, although these were minor.
Teams from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are on their way to the area to begin an investigation into what happened, on which further details are currently unknown.
“The central authorities have already started investigation into this incident. I am sure they will go into the details of the incident and find out who and what are the reasons and who is behind this incident,” said India’s Deputy External Affairs Minister V. Muraleedharan to the media.
Detonation of an improvised explosive device
According to the first preliminary investigations, the explosion was due to the detonation of an improvised explosive device, as reported by the Indian news agency PTI.
Pictures released by local media show plumes of smoke and inside the venue as a group removes burning chairs with their own hands to ensure no one was trapped.
“We all ran away. That’s all we know. And we all ran away. We got everyone safe. That’s all we can say now. We will meet the officials to know what the situation is,” says Aji, a witness member of the committee, to news agency ANI.
“It is a shocking incident. It is disturbing to note that Kerala is becoming a place where such incidents occur which is considered an act of terrorism,” Muraleedharan lamented.