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2 Feb, 2010 12:08

St. Petersburg railroad bombed “to attract attention”

A blast on a St. Petersburg railroad has injured a rail car driver and caused travel problems around Russia's northern capital.

According to a statement by Russia’s Investigative Committee, the blast happened at 04:21 local time under the wheels of the trolley car near the Baltic train station.

Luckily, it did not go off under a passenger train but under a maintenance rail car instead.

According to the local prosecution, the power of the blast was, in terms of TNT, from 200 to 400 grams. The explosion left a crater one meter in diameter and about a meter’s worth of track was damaged, although the vehicle was not derailed by the planted device. The driver of the rail car received a minor leg injury.

There have been significant delays in trains schedule due to the incident, though everything is now returning to normal in terms of service.

The investigative team that is working on the incident says this is not a work of a terrorist organization. They believe it was done by a single person, or a maximum of two individuals, who “just wanted to attract attention”.

It is likely they wanted to link their blast to the recent explosion on the railroad between Moscow and St. Petersburg which caused the derailment of the Nevsky Express train and claimed 28 lives and left 90 people injured last November.

The head of the North Western transport investigation agency Anatoly Kvashnin told the press that a criminal case on charges of illegal trafficking of explosives has been launched.

“An investigation and operational group of the North Western investigation transport agency of the Investigation Committee is working at the scene,” the statement said.