Another terrorist attack in Volgograd (VIDEO)
An explosion in Volgograd railway station building killed 18 and injured over 40 people; the incident has already been classified as a terrorist attack.
The explosion occurred at about 12:45 near the metal detectors at the entrance to the “Volgograd-1” railway station near the inspection zone, the Interior Ministry said. Usually inspection zone is full of people accumulated in long queues. This time, there were particularly many people as passenger traffic increases before Christmas. Also, Volgograd airport was closed due to unfavorable weather conditions and people were forced to travel by trains.
"Someone wanted to get inside the station building, but was not allowed through... then there was an explosion, at least one person was blown apart," said a police source.
As Interior Ministry explained, one of the officers noticed a suspicious woman at the entrance and went to meet her - at this point, she blew herself up.
However, in the evening a source in law enforcement services reported that a terrorist who blew himself up was a man. The CCTV cameras inside the building recorded this - the man is of Slavic nationality. The explosives were in his backpack.
“CCTV records allow us a preliminary conclusion that the attack was carried out by a man. But this information should be checked," said the Interior Ministry.
The woman that was initially mistaken for a suicide bomber was simply passing by at the time of the explosion.
Main entrance to the building has been smashed; windows are shattered virtually around the entire facade. The explosion killed four security personnel on duty at the metal detector. There is also one child among the dead. According to ITAR-TASS news agency, at least fifty people asked for medical aid.
With reference to the drivers of route minibuses near the station, there is information that the blast threw people out of the windows of the station, although this is not seen on Rostelecom public video camera.
According to experts, the yield of the explosive device was at least 10 kg of TNT equivalent. The bomb was packed with damage agents. The Investigation Committee set up to investigate the explosion holds that there could have been more victims were the bomber able to pass through the metal detector into the station’s waiting room.
"I was blinded and I fell. My girlfriend and I came to meet friends. We passed through the metal detector frame and were getting close to the conveyor for luggage inspection. When we were standing near the timetable, there was a strong explosion behind us and my friend and I fell on the floor,” says one eyewitness. According to her, there was a lot of smoke, groans and cries of the wounded were heard.
"The explosion happened when a bag was put on the conveyor belt. At that point, there were a lot of people, including the policeman who inspect baggage," reports another witness of the incident.
Upon explosion in Volgograd, a criminal case has been opened on two counts: terrorist attack and illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition.
As of Sunday evening, 37 people aged between 9 and 60 years remain in hospitals. The state of five victims is assessed as extremely serious. One more child is in a state of moderate severity after a surgery. Mayor of Volgograd Irina Guseva told Interfax news agency that a nine-year old girl is among the victims.
"The mother of the child managed to cover her body and was torn apart by the explosion. The girl herself is in a very grave condition," cites the agency the Mayor.
Volgograd Regional Blood Center now receives donors who want to donate blood for the victims of the explosion. Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia sent to Volgograd a plane that will transport the wounded to Moscow clinics.
The Dagestan law enforcement agencies say that the terrorist could have come to Volgograd from the republic. Local police checks the data on all citizens who had recently left Dagestan.
From December 29, the Governor lifted level of terrorist threat to “high” for 15 days.
In connection with the tragedies, all celebrations from January 1 to 3 have been canceled.
The Russian government has introduced additional security measures at all railway stations in Russia. A total inspection of citizens carried out at the entrance to all the station complexes, management of Russian Railways reports.
Russian authorities fear that on the eve of the Olympic Games in Sochi extremist groups will try to carry out a series of terrorist attacks.
Using a similar scenario, terrorists blew up the bus in Volgograd in October this year. That explosion killed seven people and injured 28, of these - 12 minors, including a year-old child.