SAINT PETERSBURG, April 3, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – Around 10 people were feared dead on Monday after an explosion rocked the metro system in Russia’s second city Saint Petersburg, according to authorities and news reports.
“The Saint Petersburg prosecutor’s office has begun to investigate the
blast in a train carriage” at the Technological Institute metro station’s platform, a prosecutors’ statement said.
A source in the emergencies services told Russian news agencies that
“around ten people were killed”, according to preliminary information.
The station is a busy hub of the underground network in the centre of
Russia’s second largest city.
The Saint Petersburg metro said in a statement carried by Russian news
agencies that it has closed two stations, Technological Institute and Sennaya Ploshchad — two neighbouring stations on one line — and is evacuating all passengers.
“Evacuation of passengers is ongoing, there are people injured,” it said. “An unidentified object supposedly blew up in a (train) carriage.”
President Vladimir Putin, who is holding a meeting near Saint Petersburg in his official Strelna presidential palace, offered “condolences” to those hurt in the blast.
Following the reports, the Moscow metro also announced that it is “taking additional security measures” as required by law in such situations, according to the network’s official Twitter account.
While there was no immediate indication as to what caused the blast,
Russia’s security services have previously said they had foiled “terrorist attacks” on Moscow’s public transport system by militants, some of whom were trained by Islamic State jihadists in Syria.
And Russia’s public transportation systems have been targeted by attacks in the past.