Pink City turns red with bloodshed within 12 minutes

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Jaipur, May 14: Blood lay spattered on walls and human bodies and limbs scattered on the ground as wails of sirens of ambulances and the cries of the injured filled the air moments after seven blasts in a space of 12 minutes tore through the crowded markets of the Pink City on May 13, leaving 67 people dead and 200 injured making it a ghastly sight and encrypting Tuesday as one of the deadliest in recent memory.

The moment the first blast occurred at Hanuman temple at 1935 hrs, people shook with terror and scurried for cover. Police and onlookers there had a harrowing time shifting the bodies and the injured to hospitals. Heart-wrenching scenes could be seen everywhere as in a split second people had lost their family members and kin. Sensing the urgency of the matter, the local people stepped forward to help the injured and shifted them to hospitals. The people also used their private vehicles to transport the wounded to hospitals, covering their bodies in sheets and providing water and whatever first aid they could lay their hands upon.

Those who suffered the impact of the blasts were yet to come to their senses as the intensities of the blasts were so strong some had difficulty in hearing even hours after the explosions occurred. The ruins of a car on the spot and broken pieces of bangles in front of a cosmetic store recounted the story of the devastation the place witnessed, turning the festivities of Tuesday into a tragedy.

The blasts rocked Tripolia Bazar, where large number of devotees turned up at a Hanuman temple, Johari Bazar, Manas Chowk, Badi Choupal and Choti Choupal-- all located within a two-km radius in the old city. All the blasts left behind a trail of destruction and ruination, making a mockery of life as it never existed in the first place.

Doctors and paramedics also had a tough time at hospitals treating the injured and keeping the bodies of the dead. Gory sights of grievous wounds and blood made some onlookers lose consciousness and vomit. Children were immediately taken away from the sites of the blasts as the first precaution. Some people collapsed soon after witnessing the scenes of the explosions.

Immediately after the explosions, traders downed the shutters of their shops and while some rushed back to their homes some headed to provide succour to the injured. Traffic snarls could be seen everywhere in the city as vehicles moved at a snail's pace since rescue operations were in process almost in every corner.

People at hospitals could be seen making franatic enquiries about their loved ones who went missing soon after the blasts. Utter chaos could be seen at hospital receptions, slowing the ''healing touch'' being provided by the doctors concerned.

Tomorrow will not be another day for the people of the Pink City as after coming to terms with the tragedy they will have to start preparations to cremate and bury around 70 bodies, bidding adieu to them and forgetting Black Tuesday they would probably not like to look back on for a long time to come.

UNI

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