A powerful blast rocked the Minsk metro during evening rush hour Monday, killing 11 passengers and injuring 126 others in a busy downtown subway station. Belarus law enforcement agencies called the explosion, on a platform at the Oktyabrskaya station as a train arrived, an act of terrorism.
The blast shattered glass windows, maiming people inside the train and on the platform of the station, located near the presidential headquarters in the center of the Belarus capital.
“I just entered the station to travel to pick our daughter from my mother-in-law’s when I felt a growing smell of burning and saw many people rushing out, some of them screaming,” Ivan Kaplun, an engineer who lives close to the station, said in a phone interview.
Kaplun said he helped carry out a bloody-faced woman, past bodies and pools of blood.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, often referred to as the last European dictator, placed flowers at the site of the blast and hurried to his office for an urgent meeting, after which he announced that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had offered to send a team of investigators.