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Forensic Experts Scrutinize Indian Train Wreckage

July 12, 2006 at 6:25 PM EST

TRANSCRIPT

IAN WILLIAMS, ITV News Correspondent: Looking for clues. Forensic experts swabbing the charred and twisted metal of one of the railway carriages, trying to find out what explosive was used.

It’s a painstaking task picking through the mangled and bloodstained wreckage. Not only was this a methodical, coordinated attack, hitting seven trains in a little over 10 minutes, but each bomb was placed in a first-class carriage, suggesting they were targeting the professionals of India’s financial capital.

Here they told me they’d found the remains of a bag in which the bomb was carried, and it was a large device.

INDIAN INSPECTOR (through translator): It must have been three or four kilograms, and you can’t fit that into a small box. It could well have been as big as four or five kilos to throw so many bodies out of the train.

IAN WILLIAMS: The damaged trains have all now been moved to a rail yard in the north of the city.

Well, forensic officers are now slowly beginning to piece together what exactly happened. Now, in the case of this particular carriage, they reckon the bomb was at least four to five kilograms and it was kept in the luggage rack up here, blowing the carriage completely apart.

Mumbai’s hospitals are struggling to cope with the hundreds of injured, but also with those trying to find missing family or friends. This distraught mother, traveling from hospital to hospital in search of her son. Volunteers, many of them students, are lending a hand.

TANYA GHAVRI, Student Volunteer: They are listed like 50 people, 40 to 50 people who are, like, missing. And we’ve taken that information now, because their relatives have been coming in and telling us their description. And they have gone to various places looking for them.

IAN WILLIAMS: There’s been a massive response to urgent pleas for blood donations. Many of those who survived the blast have horrendous injuries.

In Mumbai’s Holy Family Hospital, we spoke to one of the lucky ones: Yogesh Adhia, a lawyer, surrounded by his relieved family, thankful for his remarkable escape from that mangled carriage we’d filmed earlier.

YOGESH ADHIA, Survivor: I saw the people screaming and bleeding all over. And I was also bleeding from my head, because there was some scar. And then I immediately jumped off the train. And after some time, the persons who were in the next compartment, they helped me to the main road. And there I called my friend to pick me up and take me to the hospital.

A return to normalcy

IAN WILLIAMS: Tonight, the Indian prime minister addressed the nation, appealing for calm, praising Mumbai, and vowing to fight terrorism.

MANMOHAN SINGH, Prime Minister, India: We will win this war against terror. Nothing will break our resolve. Brothers and sisters, I urge each one of you to remain calm. Do not be provoked by rumors; do not let anyone divide us.

IAN WILLIAMS: Mr. Singh is anxious to prevent any backlash against Muslims, if this does turn out to be Islamic terrorism. This was the worst terror attack in India for more than a decade, with chilling similarities to attacks on the transport systems in London and Madrid.

Even before the forensic experts have finished their work, the police are accusing Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based terror outfit fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, but also blamed for previous attacks elsewhere in India, though the sophistication of yesterday's attack -- coordinated and by remote control -- has not usually been a hallmark of Lashkar's cruder and more suicidal terrorism.

Security was stepped up in Mumbai today, though for the most part life returned to normal. The stock exchange largely shrugged if off, and train services were running again, back to their relentless flow in and out of the city.

We traveled down the western commuter line in a first-class compartment of the type targeted yesterday. During rush hour on a normal day -- the time of the attack -- these carriages are jam-packed. Travelers told us there were less people using the trains today, and there was a sense of bravado mixed with fear.

INDIAN CITIZEN: I was in Bombay (ph). I will stop in Mumbai, so help me (ph). I have the spirit of Bombay.

IAN WILLIAMS: That spirit is something that's not been hard to find today, and it does seem the most fitting response to the terrible outrage they've suffered.