An alert passenger yesterday saved many lives by
detecting an LTTE time bomb concealed in an unattended parcel
left on a Pettah bound private coach at Mount Lavinia.
The chance detection about a minute before the
explosion near the Galkissa bus stand had saved lives but the
person who planted the bomb got away.
Acting on the passenger’s suspicion, the
conductor of the ill-fated bus had shouted to the driver to stop
it and got the passengers out.
But for his quick reaction there would have many
deaths, a police spokesman said commending the driver and
conductor for their quick reflexes in stopping the bus in
According to Kalubowila hospital all 18 people
who were hurt had suffered only minor injuries. Ten men, seven
women and an eight-month old infant had been admitted, mostly
with bruises caused by the stampede to get out of the bus.
The blast which ripped through the bus moments
after the passengers disembarked safely set it ablaze.
At the time the bomb was found at 10.55 am,
there had been many empty seats on the bus. Police were not sure
whether the parcel had been planted when the bus began its
journey at Moratuwa or about 30 minutes before its discovery.
Yesterday’s attempt was the latest in a series
of attacks on civilian targets in the South this year with the
attacks in the Moneragala district, Dambulla and Fort Railway
station being the worst.
An off duty sailor recently thwarted an LTTE
time bomb attack on the Anuradhapura weekly pola. Had he failed,
it would have been the one of the worst attacks on a civilian
target carried out by the LTTE in their campaign, a senior
military official said.