St. Petersburg metro blasts kill 10, injure 60
Updating earlier debkafile report: The Russian prosecutor general later said that the attack on the St. Petersburg metro was terror. According to Russian emergency services, there was one explosion, not two as initially reported and it occurred on the train between the Sadovaya and Sennaya Ploshchad stations. The explosive device was placed in a carriage, described as homemade and thought to be equivalent to 200 grams of TNT.
Our initial report: Two explosions on the metro system of St. Petersburg, Russia’s second city Monday, April 3, left at least 10 dead and some 60 injured. The casualty toll is expected to rise. One device blew up on a train moving between two stations in the city’s subway; the other at a station. At least one of the devices was found to be filled with shrapnel, a familiar terrorist ruse for maximizing casualties. The entire metro system was quickly shut down and the thousands of milling commuters evacuated from the smoke-filled stations and tunnels, as reports spread of a third explosive device at another station.
Horrific photos of injured commuters lying on the station platforms quickly filled the social media.
President Vladimir Putin, who was in the city (pop: 6 million) at the time, responded by offering condolences to bereaved families. He said that the situation is still unclear and under investigation. All possible causes are under consideration, he said, including terrorism and common crime.
As the news of the disaster came in from St. Petersburg, Moscow and other major Russian cities were placed on maximum terror alert.