A blast at a college in the Crimean port city of Kerch has killed 10 people and injured dozens, Russian news agencies reports, with the Kremlin saying one version being examined was that it was a terror attack.
It was not immediately clear if the alleged attacker had detonated the explosive device.
Explosives experts were inspecting the college building for other possible bombs, according to committee spokesman Andrei Przhezdomsky.
Sergei Aksenov, the Russia-backed leader of Crimea, told Tass that reports circulating on social media of a shooting after the explosion were untrue, and said the situation on the scene was calm. Officials at first reported a gas explosion, then said an explosive device had ripped through the college canteen during lunchtime in a suspected terrorist attack.
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The bomb blast took place in the city of Kerch, which is the entry point for a new 19km bridge linking Crimea to mainland Russian Federation. Russian media reported that an unidentified gunman or gunmen attacked the college. She said students and staff were among victims.
Reports suggest the explosives contained metal and the blast was caused by a device placed in the cafeteria of the college.
Russian Federation annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move that was deemed illegal the European Union and U.S. and that triggered global sanctions.
"It´s a colossal tragedy, 18 people died, and 40 more injured, for the time being", Aksyonov told Rossiya 24 channel, after authorities earlier said 50 people were injured. President Vladimir Putin has ordered security services to investigate, he said.
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"There were lots of corpses, corpses of kids, a real terrorist attack", she said.
"I heard an explosion and saw glass shards and window frames falling down", student Roman Voitenko told Russian state television. They burst in five or 10 minutes after I'd left.
An employee at a hospital in Kerch was quoted as saying that 18 people had already been admitted with injuries and that doctors were expecting about 50 more wounded to arrive.
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