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Casualties reported following St Petersburg store explosion

December 27, 2017, 20:00 updated at: December 27, 2017, 20:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW

An improvised explosive device with a power equivalent to 200 grams of TNT was detonated in a shopping mall

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© Alexander Demyanchuk/TASS

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. An explosion in a St. Petersburg entertainment center has left at least ten people injured, emergency services told TASS on Wednesday.

“There was a bang. Emergency personnel are already on the scene. The evacuation has been completed,” a local Emergencies Ministry official added. 

Russia’s Investigative Committee pursues all lines of inquiry probing the explosion at St. Petersburg’s shopping mall, the Investigative Committee told TASS.

"The investigators are exploring all lines of inquiry," he said. 

"An improvised explosive device stuffed with shrapnel and with a power equivalent to 200 grams of TNT was detonated in a shopping mall," Svetlana Petrenko, the Spokeswoman for the Investigative Committee, has confirmed. 

Petrenko said that the investigators are following up all lines of inquiry.

The city’s department of the Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal investigation into the attempted murder against two and more persons.

Investigators, forensic experts, security services and police officers are working at the crime scene.

The blast

An explosion at a supermarket in St. Petersburg’s Kondratyevsky Avenue was reported at about 18.30 Moscow time. According to preliminary reports, an unidentified explosive device was detonated in the Gigant-Hall entertainment center on the first floor near self-lockers of the Perekrestok supermarket. Police officers promptly arrived at the scene.

Chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin has dispatched experienced investigators and experts from Moscow to look into circumstances. The Investigative Committee defined the explosion as an attempted murder against two and more persons. The investigators say that an improvised nail bomb with a power equivalent to 200 grams of TNT was detonated in the supermarket.

The Gigant-Hall entertainment center has been one of the most popular destinations for residents of the Russian second-largest city for decades. The building hosts a banquet hall, concert hall, restaurant and supermarket. Also as a family entertainment center, Gigant-Hall markets towards families with children and teenagers.

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