What we know so far
- An IED has exploded on a St Petersburg Metro train; Russian police are not confirming a second blast
- The death toll has been reported to stand at 10, with over 50 injured
- All Metro stations in St Petersburg have been shut down
- Vladmir Putin has been talking to security services, and they are not ruling out terrorism
Several people have been killed in a blast that took place on a train at Sennaya Ploshchad metro station in St Petersburg on Monday (April 3), local media reports said.
While RIA news agency said at least 10 people were dead. About 50 people have been injured in the explosion, the press secretary of the St Petersburg governor said, as cited by Interfax.
According to an Interfax report, an IED packed with shrapnel detonated inside a train at the Sennaya Ploshchad station around mid-afternoon.
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The explosive device was 200-300 grams of TNT equivalent, a law enforcement agency source told Interfax.
The Russian Anti-Terrorism Committee has confirmed information about one blast, calling on the media not to spread reports about two explosions. The Committee also stated that a self-made explosive device has been defused at another St. Petersburg Metro station – Ploshchad Vosstaniya.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is currently in St Petersburg — Putin was meeting with Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko.
"We are considering all possible causes, including terrorism," Putin said in a statement.
Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, dismissed reports that the Russian president was due to pass by the Metro station where the blast took place.
The National Anti-Terrorism Committee has reportedly said that the explosion took place between Tekhnologichesky Institut and Sennaya Square metro stations.
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Officers from Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) are currently investigating the place of the incident, alongside police.
It is being reported that Putin has already spoken with the director of the FSB security services and other law enforcement agencies.
Some children have been injured in the explosion, a law enforcement source told Sputnik.
"There are children among the victims who were most likely on spring break. However, their number and names are unknown at the moment," the source added.
All those injured in the explosion have been taken to hospitals, Elena Mikhina, the press secretary of St. Petersburg Vice Governor Igor Albin, told Interfax.
At least 25 people, including one child, have been taken to hospitals in St. Petersburg following the blast, Interfax reported, citing local health services.
Forty-one ambulance brigades are currently working at the scene of the explosion, the city governor's press secretary, Andrey Kibitov said, as cited by RIA Novosti.
В Петербурге на станции "Технологический институт" произошёл взрыв в вагоне метро. pic.twitter.com/vx3PoLbCgJ— Лентач (@the_lentach) April 3, 2017
All Metro stations have been closed following the blast, St. Petersburg Metro officials said. All travel on city transport will be free of charge for the rest of Monday, St. Petersburg Transport tweeted.
The evacuation operation in the St Petersburg Metro has almost been completed, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said. It also stated that it has introduced measures to prevent further explosions on the St. Petersburg Metro.
RT is reporting that an unexploded device has been found at Ploshchad Vosstaniya Metro station in St. Petersburg. The Fontanka newspaper reported on its Facebook page that the device is currently being deactivated.
Meanwhile, security is being tightened at St Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport, an airport spokesperson said.
Three trains of the Moscow Central Ring have been evacuated after an unidentified object was located. Experts are currently investigating, a source told RIA Novosti.
The US embassy in Russia has issued a warning for US citizens: "Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security," the statement
More updates to follow.