St. Petersburg metro explosion: 11 dead in Russia blast

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Moscow (CNN)Eleven people were killed in a blast on the St. Petersburg metro Monday, the Russian health ministry said. Authorities say the explosion is a terrorist attack.
An explosion tore through a train as it was traveling between two stations in Russia’s second-biggest city, injuring dozens more.
A second device was found and defused at another station, Russia’s Anti-Terrorism Committee said. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which led to the shutdown of the city’s metro system.
President Vladimir Putin, who had been in St. Petersburg earlier in the day, said all causes were being investigated, including terrorism. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described the explosion as a “terrorist act.”
The blast happened just after 2:30 p.m. (7:40 a.m. ET) as the train was traveling in a tunnel from Sennaya Ploshchad to Tekhnologichesky Institut stations in the city center. In the confusion, initial reports suggested there were two blasts.
Investigators are seizing items relative to the investigation, questioning witnesses and metro employees and working to confirm the number of dead and injured, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.
The train’s conductor possibly saved lives, the committee said, because rather than stop the train after the blast, he continued on to the next station, which allowed passengers to evacuate and rescuers to tend to victims.
Photographs show the facade of one of the cars ripped off and passengers running from the Tekhnologichesky Institute station as it filled with smoke. Victims said they helped each other escape the train.
Bodies were seen strewn across a station platform outside the train. Rescuers carried bandaged and bloodied victims out of the station.
A spokesman for the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said the blast was caused by an unidentified explosive device in one of the train’s cars.
“So far, we say it was an unidentified explosive device as investigators and the Federal Security Service’s bomb specialists are to establish the exact cause of this explosion,” Andrei Przhezdomsky told state-run Russia 24.
A second device was found at another metro station — Revolutionary Square — and was disabled, the committee said in statement.
Thirty-nine people have been hospitalized, six of whom had critical injuries, the health ministry said, putting the number of dead at 11. Other agencies in St. Petersburg gave differing numbers for the dead and injured.
Authorities closed down the entire metro system, whose five lines carry 2.3 million people a day.

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