The Indian paralympic contingent, which was gearing up for Uganda Para badminton international in Kampala, witnessed two blasts near their team hotel. The blasts took place at a reported distance of about 100 metres from the players' team hotel, however, all the travelling players are safe. Meanwhile, their schedule remains uninterrupted with the tournament also taking place as planned.
The Indian contingent in Uganda consists of Tokyo Paralympic gold medalist Pramod Bhagat and other Indian para shuttlers. Some players of the side were about to board the bus for the stadium in Uganda's capital Kampala when they heard the two explosions. The blast claimed the lives of at least three people.
Chief coach of Indian para-badminton Gaurav Khanna revealed that the players were afraid after the incident. However, he added that they have been assured about their safety.
There was chaos afterwards in the street in front of us: Khanna
“Our bus was about to leave for the badminton hall when we heard the first explosion. There was chaos afterwards in the street in front of us. We later got to know that there were multiple blasts. We immediately went back inside. For some time initially, players were afraid, but we have been assured that our safety will be looked after,” Khanna said as quoted by Indian Express.
Meanwhile, Para-Badminton India also took to social media to share the video of the chaos that happened soon after the incident.
Notably, apart from Pramod, the likes of Manoj Sarkar, Manasi Joshi and Sukant Kadam are also in Kampala for the badminton event. Bhagat and Kadam were in their hotel rooms - as they had not any game scheduled for Day 1- when the blast took place. “Everyone is safe and there is no stress. Things are almost normal. It was at a bit of a distance, and there was no panic in the hotel,” said Pramod as quoted by the media house.
“When we heard about it from people and local news channels, we were a little shocked. Because it was not too far away. But when we spoke to organisers, they assured us full safety. So we will continue with the tournament,” he added.