Two persons were killed and three others injured in Tamil Nadu's Kancheepuram district on Sunday when an unidentified object they found in a temple pond suddenly blew up, police said. Police, however, clarified that the incident was not connected with the current alert in the state following inputs of terrorists having entered Tamil Nadu.
The bomb squad is checking to ascertain the kind of explosive device it was. "Two people have died in the blast. There was desilting work going on in the pond. They may have got the box from the pond, is what we think now. However, since the other three are injured and in hospital, we have not been able to get detailed statements from them. We will do it on Monday," D Kannan, the Superintendent of Police, Kancheepuran told TNM.
When asked if the explosion had anything to do with the terror alert, he denied. "No, it has nothing to do with the alert. This box seems to have come up after desilting. We have however not determined the cause of blast," he added.
According to one report in The Hindu, the incident took place around 3: 30 pm by an unused temple pond belonging to the Gangai Amman Koil in Manampathi. Local residents reportedly enlisted the help of a private firm to desilt the unused pond. The newspaper reports, however, that on Sunday, no one was at work and it is yet to be established how the six men were in the vicinity. The object which is exploded is yet to be labelled.
The explosion had caused pockmarks at a wall of the temple. A Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) is reportedly examining the object found at the site. The Times of India reports that the men were attempting to break open a 'treasure box'. The box reportedly fell from a tree nearby as the men reportedly gathered at the temple pond to cut a birthday cake. Speaking to the newspaper, police said that the men had come to the conclusion that it must contain treasure since the residents had hired a private firm to desilt the temple pond where Aadi festivities had recently concluded.
Police suspect that that â€˜treasure boxâ€™ could have contained fireworks used in the temple festival recently, DT Next reported. Quoting police sources, the paper reported that the remains of the mysterious object would be sent to a forensic lab for testing.