Russian Gov., Media Give Different Reports Of Crimea Explosion

Russian Gov., Media Give Different Reports Of Crimea Explosion

Russian Gov., Media Give Different Reports Of Crimea Explosion

At least 18 people died in a blast in a technical college on the Crimean peninsula, with dozens more injured, Crimean head Sergei Aksyonov said on state television on Wednesday.

The attack took place in Kerch, a city on the east of Crimea, a peninsula Russia-annexed from Ukraine four years ago.

Some earlier reports had quoted officials saying it was a gas explosion, but a spokeswoman for the regional gas-distribution company said it had no contract to supply gas to the college.

Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee identified the suspect as Vladislav Roslyakov, an 18-year-old student, and said he committed suicide by shooting himself.

Russian Federation annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, prompting worldwide condemnation and Western sanctions.

A local said officials had told parents to collect their children from schools and kindergartens in the city for their safety. "His body was found in the library on the first floor", Aksyonov wrote on Facebook.

"There are a lot of victims, they have been loaded into fast cars", a journalist for Kerch FM said.

According to the college's website, it accepts students as young as 14.

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The local Crimean government announced three days of mourning following the explosion and the Kremlin announced it would investigate the attack.

Investigators said the explosive device went off in the college's canteen and that it was "packed with metal objects".

"It's already clear that it's a crime, the motive and possible versions for this tragedy are being carefully examined", Putin said.

The committee's spokeswoman, Svetlana Petrenko, said 13 people were killed and about 50 were injured.

Kerch is linked to the Russian mainland by a bridge opened by Putin in May.

Witnesses spoke of a gunman or gunmen and some mentioned a powerful explosion.

The explosion went off at about midday (0900 UTC/GMT). Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the military was sending forces and supplies to help the victims.

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