Three Russian news agencies report that at least 11 people have been killed as a result of St Petersburg metro explosion. The attack has been termed as a terrorist act by Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev.
A train was moving from one station to another in Russia’s second largest city when the explosion tore through it.
According to Russia’s Anti-Terrorism Committee, there is a larger device which was found in one of the stations. This has been defused and safety guaranteed. The attack has so far led to the closure of the city’s metro and no group has come out to claim the attack.
Besides the 11 dead, 51 others have been injured. Four of these are in critical condition as explained by Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said from the Dzhanelidze Research Institute of Emergency Medicine. Most of the wounded are being treated here.
President Vladimir Putin visited St. Petersburg and laid roses at a makeshift memorial.
A senior administration official also leaked to CNN that US President Donald Trump briefly called Putin over the attack. In the call, the President was sympathetic to the Russian people even as details of the attack continue to emerge.
He expressed his “full support” in bringing to book all the perpetuators.
Central Asia Man Suspected
The attack has been linked to a Central Asia man, who is said to be in his early 20s, reports Russian media.
According to Tass and Interfax news agencies, the suspect has already been identified but there are conflicting conclusions as to whether he was a suicide bomber or not.
Very few details have been given at the moment.
World leaders have come to support Russia and condemn the blast.
A White House statement said that the US and Russia heads reached an agreement to decisively and quickly defeat terrorism.
This is a “barbaric act” as described German Chancellor Angela Merkel while Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, expressed Europe’s emotions over the explosion.
The scene’s images indicated a Tekhnologichesky Institut station train that has a hole blown through its side while passengers laid wounded on the platform.
Early reports also point to the direction of two blasts being experienced, one at Tekhnologichesky Institut station while the other at Sennaya Ploshchad station.
But these reports have been denounced by Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee which said that only one explosion happened and it occurred between the two stations at 11:30 GMT.
Brave Train Driver
The committee confirmed that the driver may have played a big role in saving lives. Instead of stopping the train after the explosion, he chose to continue driving until the next station, allowing more passengers to be evacuated and be tended for.
The attack was well coordinated, an assumption proved by the discovery of an explosive device at another station.
The 23-year-old man is now under strict surveillance as investigators attempt to explore the possibility of being associated with radical Islam.
He died in the explosion and could only be identified by his remains. Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov didn’t comment on the allegations that the Asian man is the mastermind.
There is also a Tass News Agency report linking a woman to the attack.