A nail bomb placed onto a train by a Muslim terrorist has ripped through a carriage in St Petersburg killing at least 12 people and injuring 50 more today.
The terrifying incident, which is being investigated as a terror attack by officials who say the terrorist has been captured on CCTV, took place on a train that was travelling between Sennaya Ploshchad and Sadovaya metro stations.
The attack has left dozens injured, including children, after it was reported a terrorist left a briefcase on the train before moving carriages moments before the deadly blast and a second explosive device was found and defused in a nearby station.
Vladimir Putin is in his hometown of St Petersburg today for talks with the president of Belarus and has confirmed ‘there are dead and injured’ and offered his condolences to the families of those killed.
The Kremlin leader, who wanted to visit the scene in the aftermath of the attack but was held back by security services, said: ‘I have already spoken to the head of our special services, they are working to ascertain the cause of the blasts.
‘The causes are not clear, it’s too early. We will look at all possible causes, terrorism as well as common crime.’
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied earlier speculation that President Putin was due to pass by the Sennaya Metro station around the time of the blast.
Earlier reports indicated a backpack had been thrown onto the train and witnesses also suggested there had been multiple explosions, but officials confirmed just the one blast.
Russian security agencies did find an explosive device at a different metro station in central St Petersburg and made it safe, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee said in a statement.
The device was found at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya metro station, a different location from where a blast earlier took place.
Other witnesses also described a man leaving a briefcase on one carriage before moving to another just seconds before the huge explosion.
As reports of the terror attack trickled through to the capital, Moscow heightened its security and local reports suggest three metro stations – Nagatinskaja, Savelovskaya and Ugrezhskaya (CIP) – were cordoned off due to suspicious packages.
A witnesses told Russia’s Life News: ‘People were bleeding, their hair burned. We were told to move to the exit, because the movement stopped. People just fled.
‘My girlfriend was in the next car that exploded. She said that he began to shake. When she came out, she saw that people were mutilated.’
Eight bodies were recovered from the carriage while two more were found on the platform and the final two killed were found in the tunnel.