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Day after blasts, Mumbai limps back to normal

By Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai
Last updated on: July 12, 2006 12:26 IST
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A day after a series of bomb blasts rocked the city, Mumbai limped back to normalcy on Wednesday.

Western Railway restarted its services after trains on the route were affected post 6.30 pm Tuesday, as the impact of the blasts caused cable wires to collapse. Engineers worked through the night to help get train services started again and their work will be completed soon.

The stations, scenes of Tuesday's terrorist attacks, which left at least 190 people dead and over 600 injured, were bustling with commuters.

Train services on the Western line resumed from Churchgate to Borivili, passing through some of the stations near where high-intensity blasts tore through first class compartments of local trains between 6:00 pm and 6:30 pm on Tuesday.

"As for the local trains, services have resumed from Churchgate to Borivili and from Virar to Naigaon. All trains on the Central line are on time," railway control room sources said. "However, only the Gujarat Express which leaves at 8:30 a.m. from Mumbai Central has departed. All other long-distance trains on the Western line are not running."

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav flew to Mumbai Tuesday night. They visited the injured at Bhabha Hospital in Bandra and also visited the blast site in Matunga.

The government has announced Rs 1 lakh as compensation amount to the immediate family of those who have died in the terrorist attack and Rs 50,000 to the injured.

Leader of Opposition L K Advani also visited Bhabha Hospital and incident spots on Wednesday morning.

Mumbai hospitals have been facing a shortage of blood and have requested as many people as possible to donate.

Officials at Sion and Cooper hospitals said at least 55 bodies had been identified and were handed over to the families while more than 30 to 40 patients were still in a critical condition in the two hospitals.

Sion Hospital officials said out of the 41 bodies brought to the hospital Tuesday evening, 29 had been identified and some of them handed over to their families. The process of identification of the others continued, they said.

Cooper Hospital, which received 30 bodies, said they had been handed over to police and the process of receiving more bodies for postmortem was on.

Hinduja Hospital sources said out of the 47 patients admitted Tuesday night, some were operated upon while a few others were still in ICU.

KEM hospital officials said of the 77 injured, seven were in ICU while 21 bodies were brought to the hospital.

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said the Anti-Terrorist Squad will conduct probes into the serial blasts along with central agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau. He said the agencies will probe whether the explosions had any links with the recent Bhiwandi and Dadar riots.

Mumbai has tense over the past week, since the Bhiwandi riots and violence on Sunday, when a statue of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray's late wife was desecrated.

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Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai