At least 11 people were killed in a blast on the St. Petersburg metro Monday, three state-run Russian news agencies said. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described the attack as a “terrorist act.”
The explosion tore through a train as it was traveling between two stations in Russia’s second-largest city.
A second, larger 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.
Alongside the dead, 51 people were injured in the incident, according to CNN affiliate RBC.
Four of the injured are in critical condition, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said from the Dzhanelidze Research Institute of Emergency Medicine, where many of the wounded are being treated, according to the state-run Tass news agency.
President Vladimir Putin, who had been in St. Petersburg earlier in the day, laid roses at a makeshift memorial with candles outside the bombed metro station.
US President Donald Trump spoke briefly with Putin on Monday, according to a senior administration official. Trump expressed his sympathies for the Russian people in the wake of the terror attack.
Train conductor may have saved lives
The blast occurred 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 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.
‘We expected death’
Passengers described the horror in the aftermath of the blast.
“In the metro car, everyone expected death, if I can say that. After the explosion, everyone expected consequences. Then we were taken out, and people began to help each other, brought others out. Most were covered in blood,” a passenger on the train told state-run TASS.