Blast in St Petersburg subway train; 10 killed, 50 injured

Modi condoles deaths, Security at Delhi Metro beefed up
Report by: 
Agencies
St Petersburg
3 Apr 2017

At least 10 people were killed and 50 others injured today when an explosion ripped through a subway train in St Petersburg, the spokesman for the city's governor told Russian television.

President Vladimir Putin, who was visiting the city on an unrelated trip today, said investigators were looking into whether the explosion was a terror attack or if there might have been some other cause. He offered his condolences to the families of those killed. Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee said an unidentified explosive device went off on a train that was traveling between two stations. Maxim Liksutov, Moscow's deputy mayor, told Interfax that Moscow authorities were tightening security on the subway in the Russian capital.

The agency that runs the subway said several stations in the northern Russian city were closed and that an evacuation was underway. Social media users posted photographs and video from a subway station in the city center, showing people lying on the floor outside a train with a mangled door. Frantic commuters reached into doors and windows, trying to see if anyone was there and shouting "Call an ambulance!"  The explosion happened between Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institut stations. 

The tragedy was followed by recovery of an unexploded device at a second Saint Petersburg metro station, as news agencies that cited Russia's anti-terrorism committee as saying. The national anti-terrorism committee (NAK) said in a statement carried by Russian agencies that such a device was "found and neutralised in a timely fashion" at the Vosstaniya Square station.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed deep sadness over the loss of lives in the blasts at St. Petersburg subway. "Deeply saddened by the loss of lives in the blasts at St. Petersburg metro. Heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims," he tweeted. Security measures in the Delhi Metro have been put on maximum alert with commuters made to undergo a thorough frisking in the wake of the St. Petersburg explosion.

Officials said the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), tasked to secure over 150 stations of the rapid rail network with a daily footfall of about 26 lakh people, has issued orders to exercise the "highest possible measure of alert" by strengthening regular security drills and undertaking pat-down (complete) search of the passengers. They said all entry and exit points of the Delhi Metro stations will be effectively secured in close coordination with the Delhi police and Metro authorities.

Special instructions, they said, have been issued to effectively and minutely scan the luggage of the commuters at all the stations, especially which receive a heavy passenger load and at inter-change stations like Kashmere Gare or Rajiv Chowk.