10 feared dead in gas explosion at Crimean college

Kerch FM

Kerch FM

Students in the Crimean college where at least 17 people died on Wednesday (Oct 17) said they heard shooting and chaos as students fled from a gunman or multiple gunmen in the building.

The statements came after hours of rapidly shifting explanations by Russian officials as to what exactly happened at the school.

The prime minister of Russia-annexed Crime, Sergei Aksyonov, said on state television the gunman acted alone during the assault on Kerch Polytechnic College in the Black Sea city of Kerch.

The committee said early estimates suggested that 10 people had been killed and more than 50 wounded in the explosion, which took place in the college cafeteria.

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The deputy head of Russia's national guard troops confirmed the incident was being considered a terrorist attack.

Soon after the attack, Russian officials said they were investigating the possibility that it was terrorism. She said most of the victims were students and more than 40 people were injured as a result of the explosion. Most of the victims were students.

He added that the building was evacuated and cordoned off after the "explosion".

The blast is the first fatal attack on the territory of Russian Federation since a suicide bomber killed 16 people on the St. Petersburg metro in April previous year. He did not elaborate.

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Reflecting the official confusion, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the victims were killed by an explosion just as the Investigative Committee was announcing they were fatally shot.

Olga Grebennikova, the college's director, told Crimean media outlets in an interview outside the college that the bodies of children were everywhere. "I would have been dead now", she said.

Another student, Semyon Gavrilov, told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that he saw "a young man with a gun walking around shooting everybody", and how he himself had survived by hiding in a classroom.

"After 10 minutes police with automatic rifles arrived", he said. Military units were deployed around the college to help emergency agencies.

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Russian Federation annexed the peninsula in March 2014, after a referendum in which the population of Crimea chose to become part of Russian Federation.

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