Published on : Monday, April 3, 2017
The St Petersburg governor’s press office said 50 people have been injured – more information is flooding in as officials arrive at the scene.
It is reported that even children were among those killed by the blast between Sennaya Ploschad station and Tekhnologichesky Institute station.
The fire engines and ambulances descended on the central Ploshchad metro station following the blast around2.40 p.m. (11.40 GMT).
As per the Russian media reports, investigators suspect that this attack was conducted by a suicide bomber who had left an explosive device inside a metro station before boarding the train with another device in a backpack. The Russian authorities have opened a criminal case over Monday’s bomb blast, claiming it to be a ‘terrorist act’.
However, they have also said that they would consider all the other probabilities. There has not been any immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.
Initially, the Russian media had reported about two major explosions. But then, the officials later claimed that there has been only one blast that had occurred as the train was moving between the Sennaya Ploshchad and the Tekhnologichesky Institut stations. A few hours later, policemen found and deactivated a second explosive device at another metro station, that is among the busiest of the cities.
This triggered a shockwave of fear that splashed all across the entire region of St. Petersburg.
After a few hours of differing casualty tolls, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said the death toll was 11, with another 45 people being treated for wounds in hospitals.
A Russian port city on the Baltic Sea, St Petersburg is a huge draw to tourists thanks to its cultural centre with the Mariinsky Theatre hosting opera and ballet and the State Russian Museum showcasing Russian art.
With a population of four million, its’ a hive of tourism and welcomes visitors from across the globe.
The current terror threat across Russia is high with the main terror threat in Russia coming from Islamist and rebel groups in the North Caucasus.
Frank Brehany of Holiday Travel Watch said: “News of explosions on the St Petersburg metro will be sure to cause a heightened sense of angst amongst holidaymakers to this popular City. At this stage the Authorities are keeping an open mind about the probable cause and I have noted that the UK FCO’s Travel Advisory page is currently silent on the issue.
“For the present intending or actual holidaymakers must pay heed to news outlets, travel advisories and seek further information from their travel provide; I would also recommend that you inform your travel insurer, either pre-departure or whilst you are there, as they may have further information or guidance on what you should do.
On 31 October 2015, a Russian flight from Sharm el Sheikh to St Petersburg crashed in North Sinai – Russian authorities stated the crash was caused by an explosive device on board the plane.
In 2016, the Russian authorities conducted several high profile raids against alleged ISIS-linked individuals in cities across Russia, including St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg and Moscow.
The FCO write on its website: “Although there’s no indication that British nationals or interests have been specific targets, attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.
“You should be vigilant in all public places, including major transport hubs, tourist sites and crowded areas – particularly where access isn’t controlled (eg open-air events and markets).
“Previous attacks have targeted transport infrastructure. Further attacks are likely, and could take place anywhere in Russia.”
“If you are in situ, then you should follow the advices of the Authorities and your travel company. Staying alert to the issues will help you plan of deal with what is clearly an evolving situation.”
Similarly, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblast.
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to within 10km of the border with the Ukrainian Kharkiv Oblast.
The FCO advise against all travel to Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kursky in Stavropol Krai.