A suspected bomb blast inside a car of the St. Petersburg Metro system has resulted in casualties among passengers. The entire transit system is shut down as bomb squads and rescuers respond to the emergency.
The explosion happened as the train was travelling between the stations Tekhnologichesky Institut and Sennaya Ploshchad of the St. Petersburg Metro, the National Antiterrorism Committee confirmed.
Images posted on social media show bodies lying next to the damaged car, with blood apparently spilt on a bench.
The St. Petersburg governor’s office said there were as many as 50 victims in the incident, including 10 fatalities. Two of the injured have been taken for surgery while two others are being prepared for operation.
The city healthcare committee said 25 people have been brought to hospital in the wake of the blast, including one child.
Russian President Vladimir Putin commented that “The causes of this event have not been determined yet, so it’s too early to talk about [possible causes]. The investigation will show. Certainly, we will consider all possibilities: common, criminal, but first of all of a terrorist nature.”
All Metro stations are closed to passengers. Commuters were evacuated from the subway within about an hour of the first reports of the blast coming in.
Security has been increased in St. Petersburg over concerns of a potential follow-up attack, the National Antiterrorism Committee said.
Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature for users in St Petersburg. It allows people to let friends and family know that they are OK during a disaster or dangerous situation.