Minsk (Belarus), April 11 (AP): An explosion tore through a key subway station in the Belarusian capital of Minsk during evening rush hour today, killing seven people and wounding 50, officials said.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw heavily wounded people being carried out of the Oktyabrskaya subway station, including one person with missing legs.
Several witnesses told The Associated Press that the explosion hit just as passengers were stepping off a train at about 1500 GMT. The station, where Minsks two subway lines intersect, was crowded with passengers at the end of the work day.
The station is within 100 metres of the residence of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko and the Palace of the Republic, a concert hall often used for government ceremonies.
There was no immediate indication of whether the blast was an accident or a terrorist attack. Interior ministry spokeswoman Svetlana Borovskaya told The Associated Press that seven people were killed and 50 wounded.
One witness, Alexei Kiklevich, said at least part of the stations ceiling collapsed after the explosion. Igor Tumash, 52, said he was getting off a train when there was a large flash, an explosion and heavy smoke. I fell on my knees and crawled.