At least one bomb blast on a subway train in St. Petersburg, Russia, killed an estimated 10 people and wounded as many as 50 more Monday, Russian officials said, in what President Vladimir Putin called a possible act of terror.
One of the blasts came from a device that appeared to be filled with shrapnel, Sky News reported. Putin said investigators were looking into all possible causes. Russia’s Fontanka newspaper reported that an unexploded device turned up at a different subway station as crews worked to deactivate it.
The train was traveling between two stations in the center of the city, investigators said. Photos and video from the Sennaya Ploshchad station appeared to show wounded victims on the smoke-filled platform, and a train car with a door blown out. Frantic commuters reached out through the doors and windows, shouting, “Call an ambulance!”
— didier reynders (@dreynders) April 3, 2017
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the blast. Andrei Kibitov, spokesman for the St. Petersburg governor, told Russian television 10 people were killed and 50 injured.
“We will look at all possible causes, terrorism as well as common crime.”
– Russian President Vladimir Putin
“People were bleeding, their hair burned,” a witness told Russia’s Life News. “My girlfriend was in the next car that exploded. She said that he began to shake. When she came out, she saw that people were mutilated.”
Trains and train stations have been common targets for terrorist attacks in Russia and throughout much of Europe, analysts point out. In 2009, a bomb exploded on a high-speed train heading from Moscow to St. Petersburg, killing 27 people.
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Crews closed all subway stations in St. Petersburg Monday and evacuated passengers, administration officials said. Ambulances and other medical teams rushed to the scene.
Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee vowed to tighten security at all of the country’s critical transportation centers.
“The causes are not clear, it’s too early. We will look at all possible causes, terrorism as well as common crime,” Putin responded.
The Russian president offered condolences to the families of the victims. He was visiting the city Monday and held talks with the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko.
The Sennaya Ploschad station opened in 1963, the BBC reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.