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Blast rocks St. Petersburg subway, at least 14 confirmed dead

Russia's Investigative Committee has called the explosion a terror attack

MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. According to latest data, 14 people were killed and 49 hospitalized following the St. Petersburg metro blast, the Information Center of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAK) has told TASS.

Specialists from the Health Ministry have taken measures to provide all the necessary medical and psychological assistance to those injured in the blast as well as their families.

"At the present time, security services and law enforcement agencies continue taking prompt measures to ferret out and prevent possible terrorist threats," the committee said. "Teams of specialists from the central office of the Federal Security Service, the Interior Ministry and the Emergency Situations Ministry have been dispatched to St. Petersburg to help in the investigation of the crime and in efforts to deal with the aftermath," it added.

"Authorities and local government bodies are taking necessary measures to maintain order and stabilize the social-political situation in the city," the Anti-Terrorist Committee said.

A criminal case was opened.

"Within the framework of the investigation, measures are being taken to establish all the circumstances of the crime, to find the perpetrators and masterminds of the terrorist attacks as well as their accomplices." 

All metro stations in the city have been closed following the blast.

A bomb went off on Monday afternoon in a tunnel between two metro stations - Tekhnologichesky Institut and Sennaya Ploshchad.

Investigators have qualified the explosion as a terrorist attack, but other possible versions are being looked into.

"The chairman of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee has issued instructions to beef up protection of transport facilities and infrastructure as well as heavily-congested areas against terrorism," the officer said.

Fire and rescue teams of the emergencies ministry were among the first to arrive to the scene. They promptly organized the evacuation of the subway passengers. All in all, more than 1,200 people were evacuated.

NAK reminded that an improvised explosive device filled with striking elements was found at the Ploshchad Vosstaniya subway station.

"This made it possible to avert another grave crime with fatalities," the NAK said.

Security measures have been stepped up at St. Petersburg’s airport Pulkovo following the subway blast, the airport’s press service told TASS on Monday.

"The airport has tightened security measures, including security control at the airport’s entrances and preflight inspections." 

Law enforcement agencies are taking all the necessary security measures following the St. Petersburg metro bombing, the head of the Information Center of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee Andrei Przhedomsky assured. 

"I think the FSB's experts together with detectives will quickly investigate the circumstances," he said. "All necessary measures to ensure the safety of citizens are being taken. We will do everything to avert other possible explosions or other criminal acts," he added.

"At the moment, we can say this is an unidentified explosive device, as investigators and bomb specialists of the Federal Security Service (FSB) must clearly define the cause of the blast," Przhezdomsky said.