At least 14 people have died and almost 50 were injured in a subway blast in St. Petersburg on Monday. The explosion occurred between the Sennaya Ploshchad station and Tekhnologichesky Institut around 2:40pm local time, Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee reported.
Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said there were 47 victims of the blast and put the number of fatalities at 10. She said that the six people being treated in St. Petersburg hospitals for injuries remain in critical condition. The minister added that among the victims was a 15-year-old girl, who has burns and a head injury.
According to health officials, the victims being treated in hospitals vary in age from teenagers to as old as 70. They are suffering from burns, blunt head traumas, shrapnel injuries and lung damage.
Russian authorities consider all possible causes for the blast, including those linked to terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, as quoted by Russia Today.
“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 variants, common, criminal, first of all, of a terrorist nature,” he said.
Vladimir Putin is currently in St. Petersburg taking part in the All-Russia People’s Front media forum that opened on April 1.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied earlier media speculation that President Putin was due to pass by the Sennaya Metro station around the time of the blast.
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.
The Romanian ambassador in Moscow, Vasile Soare, urged Romanians in St. Petersburg in a Facebook post to address the embassy or the consulate in the city if they need any help.
“I hope Romanians in St. Petersburg are OK and nobody has been in that train or in the tube stations. Please, get in touch with the embassy, the consulate in St. Petersburg or with me personally. Please, follow the events and further developments,” the Romanian ambassador posted on Facebook.