It was the fragrance of fresh jasmines that drew Kiran Attaluri away from the bus stop near Venkatadri theatre in Dilsukhnagar on Thursday. It also saved her life. The first blast knocked her off her feet and even before she realized what had happened, she heard the second explosion.
“Everyone around me was on the ground. Then I heard screams. I stood up and realized that the spot where I was standing just a few minutes ago appeared to have disintegrated. There was smoke and fire and pieces of metal everywhere. Everything looked red there,” said Attaluri, who is learning SAP at an institute close by.
“It took me a moment to realize it was blood and the strange looking things nearby were pieces of body parts. Just a few minutes ago, I had been standing where the blast occurred . I love jasmines and as the bus appeared to be late, I came towards the flower carts. I was bargaining with the vendor when this explosion occurred and I felt as if something pushed me with a great force. When I came to my senses I was on the ground,” she said.
Although she was able to find an autorickshaw willing to take her to her house in Chaitanyapuri, Attaluri and her friend, who works with Deccan Grameena Bank, decided to stay back and help paramedical staff who arrived in ambulances.
“I offered to donate blood but they said they had arrangements in the hospitals and asked us to keep away as there could be more bombs nearby,” said Attaluri, who lost her bag in the melee. She estimates that more than 500 students must have been standing at the eateries, tea stalls and the bus stop between the two theatres where the blasts occurred.
Chittibabu, an employee of Sri Sai Super Specialty Hospital, said he was walking towards the bus stop between Venkatadri and Konark theatres when he heard a loud explosion.
“I never heard anything like it. I was walking towards the Dilsukhangar main road when I noticed the smoke and hurried towards it. I will never forget what I saw there. There was blood everywhere, on the cycle stand, the bus stop, the plexi boards and hoardings and on the road,” he said.
“There were body parts everywhere. People were running. I heard bloodcurdling screams near Konark theatre where several people, some of them women, were lying. Their clothes were all bloodied and they were screaming for help. Then I heard the second blast,’’ he said.
Pallavi Kumari, 38, a nurse who was waiting for a bus near Konark theatre said she heard a big sound and saw people running. Many people who narrowly escaped the blasts, including hundreds of students, stayed back to help the victims but were requested to leave by the police and paramedical staff.
The scene outside Venkatadri theatre left even the police shaken. Blood was splattered all over the road and nearby shops. Body parts were hanging from the shutters of shops nearby. Power and telephone lines had collapsed and the entire area had plunged into darkness.
There was a huge traffic jam on the Dilsukhnagar main road as ambulances and police vehicles rushed to the spot. In spite of being stuck in long traffic jams, autorickshaws and strangers were offering to drop people home even as Cyberabad and Hyderabad police teams arranged for special vehicles to ferry stranded passengers.