NEW DELHI: A car belonging to the Israeli embassy was gutted after an explosion Monday afternoon in a high-security zone in the Indian capital, not far from the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Four people, including an Israeli woman, were injured, police said.
Officials said the fire was from an explosion caused by a "foreign substance attached to the rear of the vehicle".
The Israeli embassy confirmed the incident but refused to give details.
The incident took place at the Safdarjung Road-Aurangzeb Road crossing, not far from the 7, Race Course Road residence of the Indian prime minister.
An alert was sounded in the capital and the government asked foreign missions to be on vigil.
According to an eyewitness, there was an explosion in the Israeli embassy's Tata Innova car that had four people, including a woman, travelling in it. The registration number of the car is 109 CD 35. The car got badly damaged as it caught fire immediately after the blast.
A Tata Indica car moving alongside the Innova was also damaged.
According to another eyewitness Ravi Singh, passers-by rushed to rescue the people trapped in the two cars.
"There was an explosion in a car. There were two people in the car, which was followed by an Indica. People in the Indica car also got injured," Singh told reporters.
The fire department received the first call at 3.18 pm. One fire tender reached the spot to douse the flames. The Central Forensic Science Laboratory and the bomb squad team also reached the spot.
Officials didn't rule out a terror link.
The car belonging to the Israeli embassy was gutted, metres away from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 7 Race Course Road residence.
It was not immediately clear whether it was a blast or whether a CNG cylinder exploded in the car bearing registration number 109 CD 35. The occupants of the car are not known.
Home ministry sources said police investigators have already begun probe and a team of forensic experts has collected evidence from the spot. The entire area has been barricaded and sleuths were still collecting material from the site.
The sources didn't rule out a terror link, saying anything was possible.
"It was a minor blast. But nothing is being ruled out or ruled in at this stage," an official said.
The sources said an alert has been sounded in the capital and the government has asked foreign missions to be on vigil following the car explosion.