The Indian music business escaped the worst of the terrorist attacks yesterday (July 11) evening in Mumbai, when eight bomb blasts ripped apart packed commuter trains in Mumbai. According to reports, at least 183 people died and more than 700 were injured in the attacks.
Universal Music India managing director Rajat Kakar says that two of the stations where blasts occurred are close to the label’s office and used by many Universal staffers. “By the grace of God, all UMG India employees and their immediate families are safe,” he says, adding that many employees spent the night in the office and returned home Wednesday (July 12) morning when train service resumed.
“On a positive note the people of Mumbai came out in large numbers and offered help to the affected people all through the night,” Kakar adds.
Savio D’Souza, secretary general of the Indian Music Industry says the local labels body’s staff was unharmed.
D’Souza adds that it’s too early to say what impact the blasts will have on activities such as event launches and retail. “The mood is very grim, but Mumbai will bounce back,” he says.
Mandar Thakur, manager of Singapore-based digital rights management company Soundbuzz’s Indian subsidiary, says his office is across the street from one of the stations where the blasts took place.
“Our windows rattled when the blasts hit, and at first we thought it was probably thunder, since we experience strong monsoon rains at this time of year,” Thakur says. “We had a bird’s-eye view of the chaos and mayhem that prevailed. Thankfully, our staff was indoors, and some stayed in the office overnight until (train) service resumed.”