- An explosion in a metro train has killed and injured dozens of commuters in St. Petersburg subway.
- Russia’s Investigative Committee has been quick to determine that the blast was most probably a terrorist attack.
- Russia’s intelligence service, the FSB, has announced that the explosion was caused by a makeshift bomb.
- Security measures in St. Petersburg and Moscow have been tightened following the attack.
An explosion which has been described as a terrorist attack has killed 10 people on a metro train in the subway of the Russian city of St. Petersburg.
The St. Petersburg metro train blast occurred at about 2:40 pm Moscow time on Monday in a section between the Tekhnologichesky Institute and Sennaya Ploshchad subway stations in the northwestern Russian city, Russian state-run agency TASS reported.
According to the Health Ministry’s latest data, 10 have been killed in the blast while another 37 were hospitalized with various injuries.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has qualified the explosion on a St. Petersburg metro train as a terrorist attack.
At the same time, the investigators are not excluding other versions, apat from terrorism, the IC spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko announced.
“The criminal case was opened under Article 205 of the Criminal Code [Act of Terrorism], but the investigators are going to proceed along other lines of inquiry, too,” she said.
The investigators were now looking into all circumstances of the explosion. The head of Russia’s Investigative Committee commissioned the body’s special investigations department to probe into the case.
“According to preliminary findings, a yet-to-be specified explosive device went off on a train between the Tekhnologichesky Institut and Sennaya Ploshchad stations at 14:40 Moscow time. There were casualties. A team of experienced investigators and forensic specialists from the IC’s head office has been dispatched to St. Petersburg,” Petrenko said.
He revealed that preliminary findings indicated that the metro train driver reacted adequatly to the emergency once the explosion happened.
“The explosion occurred between two stations. The driver made the right decision not to stop the train but take it to the next station, which allowed for promptly starting the evacuation and providing assistance to the injured. This helped prevent a heavier death toll,” Petrenko said.
Russia’s main intelligence service FSB, the successor of the Soviet Union’s KGB, announced that an explosive device which was found at a St. Petersburg subway station was filled with “striking elements”.
“At about 3:00 p.m., an improvised explosive device filled with striking elements was found at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya subway station. The said device was timely defused by bomb technicians. No one was hurt,” the St. Petersburg office of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement.
A helicopter and emergency workers stand outside Tekhnologichesky Institute metro station after an explosion, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, 03 April 2017. Photo: Anatoly Maltsev
In the wake of the metro train blast, the administration of the Russian city of St. Petersburg declared a three days mourning starting on Tuesday, the Governor’s spokesman Andrey Kibitov wrote on Twitter.
Because of the St. Petersburg metro blast, transport security measures were also tightened in the Russian capital Moscow.
St. Petersburg airport Pulkovo also increased its security measures following the subway blast.