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Terrorist attack in St. Petersburg At least 10 dead and 43 hospitalized in hours after metro bombing

Source: Meduza
Photo: VKontakte page of St. Petersburg Today

At around three o’clock in the afternoon on Monday, April 3, an explosion occurred in a car of a subway train travelling between the Sennaya Ploshchad and Tecknologichesky Institut stations on the second metro line in St. Petersburg. Another bomb, which was thereafter found at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya metro station, had failed to go off. According to preliminary data, at least 9 people were killed at the site and the number of dead has since increased; at least 50 people were injured and, as of 5:44 PM local time, 43 of the injured have been hospitalized. Meduza reports what is known so far about the explosion.

An explosion occurred on the stretch of metro line connecting the Sennya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institute metro stations. According to eyewitnesses, the explosion took place in the third car shortly after the train embarked from Sennaya Station. The train reached the next station, where all of its passengers were evacuated. Speaking live on television station Russia 24 at around 5:20 PM local time, Alexander Kurennoy, an official representative from the Prosecutor General’s Office, called the explosion an act of terrorism. The incident is now officially being investigated as a terrorist attack, though other versions are being considered, as well.

According to a law enforcement source interviewed by news agency Interfax, the explosion was caused by a homemade low-grade explosive device stuffed with striking elements. The bomb was left in the car before the train embarked; there is no information that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber. No one has taken responsibility for the attack.

According to official data from Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee, at least 10 people have died. There are no fewer than 50 injured persons and at least 43 hospitalizations. Amongst the hospitalized is at least one child. Shortly after 7 PM local time, head of St. Petersburg-based Dzhanelidze First Aid Research Institute Valeriy Parfenov said that doctors had extracted bearings, screws, and fragments of the explosive device’s shell from the bodies of those hospitalized.

A second bomb failed to go off. Initially, it was reported that there had been two explosions in the metro within a short time period, but the National Anti-Terrorism Committee later stated that there had only been one. Since then, however, it has become known that another explosive device set up at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya station but had failed to go off. The second bomb, which has since been defused, reportedly contained the equivalent of 1 kilogram of TNT, making it as much as five times more powerful than the bomb that exploded. Earlier, there were also reports of explosions at other metro stations, including one at Kupchino, but there has been no confirmation of these rumors.

St. Petersburg’s metro system has been temporarily closed. Traffic is limited in the Sennaya Ploshchad area of the city center and the area around Tekhnologichesky Institute is sealed off completely. St. Petersburg taxi service Taksovichkof announced that it all of its available cars would be servicing the city free of charge; public transportation and Uber are also operating free of charge. Security has been strengthened at other transport facilities, including at railway stations and Pulkovo Airport. Increased security measures have also been introduced in the Moscow metro.

President Vladimir Putin was in St. Petersburg at the time of the terrorist attack. He expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and promised to take all necessary measures to help the victims. Television station Echo of Moscow reported that the Russia’s Federal Protective Service forbade Putin from visiting the site of the attack, but Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said that this information is untrue.

Shortly before 6 PM local time, television channel REN posted a photograph of the suspected terrorist. Local publication Fontanka later reported that the suspected terrorist had entered the metro system at the Petrogradskaya station. Just after 7:30 PM local time, news agency Interfax cited a source in law enforcement who said that two individuals were now wanted in connection with the St. Petersburg metro bombing, one who set up the explosive device that had gone off and another who left a bomb at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya station.

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