: Preliminary investigations into the explosion at Veliyam on Friday night suggest that it was caused by a crude bomb. Forensic experts who inspected the site said a conclusive version could be given only after getting the results of detailed examinations.

The examinations will also probe whether it was an improvised explosive device. Samples of the device that exploded have been collected from the scene and taken for examination. The forensic team was led by Assistant Director of the Forensic Science Laboratory Ajith Kumar.

Two persons suffered grievous injuries when the device resembling an emergency lamp exploded at Veliyam town shortly after 7.30 p.m. The device wrapped in newspapers was found by the roadside in front of a shop. A KSRTC employee, Madhavankutty, opened the bundle and found that it was an emergency lamp. An electrician, Jayakumar, who happened to pass by was asked to test the lamp. The device exploded when Mr. Jayakumar switched it on, discharging a huge quantity of nails in all directions which pierced their body. Mr. Jayakumar's left hand was badly mutilated. Both have been admitted to the Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram.

The police said the fact that the device was wrapped in regional newspapers circulated in the area suggests that someone from the area could be involved in its deployment.

The police are maintaining vigil in the area.