India’s para shuttlers in Kampala witness blast close to their hotel

The two blast sites, as mentioned in news reports, are roughly 4.8 kms away from the players' designated hotel.

The Indian para-badminton contingent along with fellow competitors were about to board the bus, heading to the stadium, when they heard what could be more than one explosion at Kampala, where they were present to play the Uganda Para badminton international.

Coach Gaurav Khanna informed that all players were safe and will stay put to finish the tournament.

The two blast sites, as mentioned in news reports, are roughly 4.8 kms away from the players’ designated hotel. However the plumes of smoke were visible from where the players had stepped out to head to the stadium.

“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.

Indian para shuttlers Pramod Bhagat, Manoj Sarkar, Manasi Joshi and Sukant Kadam are in Kampala, playing the tournament.

Bhagat, the Paralympic champion, sought to calm down all fears, saying, “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.”

Both Bhagat and Kadam were not scheduled to play on Day 1 and were in their rooms when the explosions occurred. Kadam said that he heard of the details from local news channels, and was told that the site was not too far away.

“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.”

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