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Cylinder Blast Kills 3 Tourists in Kashmir

By Fayaz Wani

Bijbehara, July 28: Three tourists from the Indian state of Maharashtra were killed and five others injured when a gas cylinder exploded inside their vehicle in Indian administered Kashmir on Saturday.

Police sources said a gas cylinder exploded in Pahalgam-bound vehicle bearing No JK-02 AP 0676 near Zirpara area of Bijbehara, some 45 kms south of Srinagar, th summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir. "The explosion caused on spot death of two female passengers and injuries to six others," they said

They said the injured were rushed to a nearby hospital, where some of the critically injured were taken to Srinagar hospitals for specialized treatment. "However, another woman succumbed to injuries while being shifted to Srinagar hospital".

The deceased were identified as Neesha Jeetwah wife of Anil Jeetwah, Nirmala Rathore wife of Jai Raj and Indu Bhae. The injured have been identified as Bharti wife of Ashwini Kumar, Neeta Jeetwah wife of Bharat Jeetwah, Preetama Jeetwah wife of Vinod Jeetwah, Jayshri Desai wife of Arun Kumar and Jaswanti Thakur wife of Vasant Thakur.

The driver of the vehicle Ashok Kumar of Jammu escaped with minor injuries. "He was taken into custody by police," sources said.

A top police officer confirmed that that it was a gas cylinder explosion.

"The tourists were carrying a gas cylinder in their vehicle. It exploded due to some unknown reasons, causing the death of three travelers and injuries to five others," he said.

Singh said the vehicle and driver are now in police custody. "Further investigations are going on," he added.

A police spokesman said police has started forensic investigation in the blast.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir. Read more stories by Fayaz Wani.

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