KOCHI: Three successive explosions were reported from a prayer meeting attended by 2,200 people, organised by Jehovah's Witnesses, at Kalamassery, Kochi, on Sunday morning.
It left one dead and injured 36 people. Two people are in critical condition.
The incident took place at the Zamra International Convention Centre at around 9:45 a.m. The reason for the blasts is not yet known.
The injured have been transferred to the Kalamassery Medical College for urgent medical treatment.
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According to a local witness, the series of explosions occurred inside the convention hall at approximately 9:45 a.m. They said that the incident occurred during prayer time when people had their eyes closed.
The first blast originated from the middle of the hall, followed by two simultaneous explosions on either side.
These blasts occurred immediately after the conclusion of a prayer that was part of the day's event.
State police chief Shaik Darvesh Saheb confirmed that the explosion was triggered by two Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and a detailed investigation is on to crack the case.
"We will find out who's behind this. I also request no provocative posts be put on social media. If anybody is doing such a thing, we will take stringent action," he said.
When asked if it was a terror attack, the DGP added, "At this stage, I cannot say anything. Only after the investigations, I can confirm with you the details."
The annual convention organized by Jehovah's Witnesses began on October 27 and was set to conclude on Sunday at noon.
Sunday's meeting had approximately 2,300 registered attendees from several places in and around Ernakulam such as Varapuzha, Angamaly, and Edappally.
Meanwhile, all the staff including doctors, and nurses at Ernakulam Government Medical College at Kalamassery, were asked to report to duty immediately.
Health Minister Veena George has issued directives to the heads of the health department and the medical education department to enhance the quality of care.
Additionally, orders have been issued to expand the capabilities of Kalamassery Medical College, Ernakulam General Hospital, and Kottayam Medical College.