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Blast rocks shopping centre metres from Kremlin

Security is on high alert In Moscow and an area close to the Kremlin remains cordoned off. The alarm was raised when a powerful firecracker went off near an underground shopping centre. No one was hurt by the blast. However, it sparked fears of an attack

Hundreds of shoppers and staff were promptly evacuated.

The press flocked to the scene straight after the news first came in. Some reports said that about five people were exposed to carbon monoxide and needed specialist medical treatment. There was also speculation as to weather this could have been a terrorist act or not.

But the officials denounce these rumors completely.

“Luckily this is just an act of hooliganism. Specialists say that someone let off a firecracker. Perhaps a powerful one or maybe there were many firecrackers. Nobody was hurt,” Viktor Biryukov from Moscow police said.

This is the second blast at this mall in the center of Moscow. The first one took place in September 1999. Back then was allegedly a terrorist act that killed one woman and injured dozens.

This time the blast didn't cause much damage except for some broken windows. But the mall is expected to open no earlier than Friday morning.

And police are examining the video tapes from the surveillance cameras and hope to catch the hooligans soon.