The St. Petersburg Terrorist Attack: What We Know, So Far
A bomb went off in the St. Petersburg subway on Monday afternoon. The explosion occurred at about 2:30 p.m., local time, on a stretch of track between the Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologicheskiy Institut stations. Here’s what we know, so far.
The human toll
* The blast killed at least 14 people: seven victims died at the scene, one died in en route to the hospital, and another six died in hospital.
* St. Petersburg authorities say 43 people have been hospitalized following explosions, including at least one child. State investigators have reportedly started questioning hospitalized survivors.
Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg
* After President Putin announced that officials would investigate all possible causes for the tragedy, Russia’s General Prosecutor opened a terrorism investigation, though officials say they will review multiple possibilities.
* Officials have announced that Putin will not visit the scene of the blast, citing security concerns. The president is currently in St. Petersburg on a planned trip.
* Sitting down to a scheduled meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Putin addressed the subway bombing, saying, “Unfortunately, we have to begin our meeting with this,” before extending his condolences to those killed today.
* At a press conference following his meeting with Lukashenko, Vladimir Putin didn't say a single word about the St. Petersburg attack.
The city's response
* Public transportation and ridesharing services temporarily eliminated all charges for rides near the site of the bombing, though there are scattered reports that some taxi drivers are still demanding payment for services. The city's entire subway system was shut down temporarily. By the evening, three train lines resumed normal service, and another two returned to partial service.
* The Rossia-24 television channel reported that local schoolchildren have been advised to remain at school, given the city’s traffic standstill and parents’ inability to retrieve their kids.
* Outside the Kremlin in Moscow and at Ploshchad Vosstaniya in St. Petersburg, people have gathered for vigils in memory of those killed in today's bombing.
* The Moscow subway system has reportedly instructed its train car operators to inspect all fire extinguishers, following the alleged discovery of at least one bomb disguised as a fire extinguisher in the St. Petersburg subway.
* Late on Monday, Vladimir Putin visited St. Petersburg's Ploshchad Vosstaniya and laid flowers in memorial of those killed in the subway attack.
The police response
* Russia's National Antiterrorism Committee says officials found and deactivated a second bomb at Ploshchad Vosstaniya, another St. Petersburg subway station. The disarmed bomb reportedly contained the equivalent of 1 kilogram of TNT, making it as much as five times more powerful than the bomb that exploded aboard the train car close to the Tekhnologicheskiy Institut station.
* Kyrgyzstan's National Security Committee (GKNB) has named a 22-year-old Akbarzhon Dzhalilov as a suspect in the attack. Jalilov, who was born in the Kyrgyz city of Osh, had gained Russian citizenship.