Crimean college blast caused by bomb

Crimean college blast caused by bomb

Blast at a polytechnic college in Crimea’s Kerch was caused by an unidentified explosive device, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said.

"Today at around noon an explosion occurred in the building of a polytechnic college in the city of Kerch, in the Crimean Republic. According to preliminary data, 10 people were killed and another 50 were wounded," TASS cited the NAC as saying.

Bomb disposal experts of the Federal Security Service are working at the scene. An investigation is underway. Crimean Head Sergei Aksenov left for the site.

"Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated," the National Antiterrorist Committee said in a statement.

"Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement added.

Twenty people have been hospitalized following the explosion, a local emergency services representative said.

The exact number of people who were killed or injured in the explosion is being established, the Information Center of the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a terror attack is a possible version of the explosion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered deep condolences to the relatives and friends of Kerch blast victims.

More than 200 military servicemen from the Southern Military District and about 10 pieces of heavy equipment have been dispatched on orders of the commander of the Southern Military District to assist the emergency services of the city in clearing the rubble at the explosion site, the press service of Russia’s Southern Military District said.

"A mobile air group of the Emergencies Ministry’s Crimean Office and the city’s rescue services have been sent to the scene. At 14:00 three Mi-8 helicopters with psychologists and rescues on board are scheduled to be dispatched from Sochi and Rostov-on-Don. At 16:00 an Ilyushin-76 of the Emergencies Ministry is to depart from the Zhukovsky airdrome near Moscow," the ministry’s spokeswoman said.

The crisis management centers and special task groups of the Southern Regional Center and the Emergencies Ministry’s office in Crimea maintain close contact with the local self-government bodies and other emergency services.

The explosion. which rocked the Kerch vocational college on Wednesday afternoon, claimed ten lives, injuring 50 people, according to the latest reports. The city ambulance service said more than 34 people have been hospitalized.

Specialists have uncovered an explosive device in the college, spokesman for the National Anti-Terror Committee Andrei Przhezdomsky said.

According to the National Anti-Terror Committee, 17 were killed. Crimea Head Sergei Aksyonov said that 18 people were killed and 47 more were injured.

The initial criminal case based on a terrorism charge has been re-qualified as murder.