Deadly Blast at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport
Up to 31 people have been killed in an explosion at Moscow's Domodedovo airport according to the Russian Health Ministry. Some 130 more are said to have been injured in what the Investigative Committee believes to be a terror attack.
20 people are reported to be in grave condition.
The heavy smoke at the site of the explosion is hampering the efforts of the emergency workers establishing if there are any more victims in the area, a ministry spokesperson says. There are reports that the bomb was packed with shrapnel.
People are being evacuated. Airport workers have destroyed a brick wall near the luggage claim area to let the passengers leave the area of the explosion.
One of the eyewitnesses Tatyana Papova says it has been announced that the airport is working normally and all the flights are departing on time. "I'm not sure about the international arrivals thought. Airport staff don't know where they will be diverted to," Tatyana says.
"I came here about half an hour ago. I heard that there was a blast at the arrivals area. There was already a lot of smoke at the baggage claim. There were a lot of people crowded there because the escalators had stopped. The staff organized emergency exits, but the door was very narrow and people crowded there immediately. So the staff started breaking the walls to let the people out. Soon after, the airport stopped receiving arrival flights. Everyone left the passport control area and started leaving the baggage claim area. Only those who hadn't received their luggage stayed."
An initial probe indicates the blast was a terrorist attack caused by a suicide bomber. Another theory is the bomb may have arrived in one of the bags.
Moscow police have been put on alert over possible terror attacks in the capital. Police are also on alert at Vnukovo airport and Sheremetyevo international airport in Moscow, and in the metro system.
International flights are being redirected to other Moscow area airports. Some 80 emergency teams are already on the spot. The first groups of injured passengers have already been taken to hospital.
Medvedev is holding an urgent meeting with the Prosecutor General, the Investigative Committee Chief and the Transportation Minister.
According to reports the explosion happened at 4:30pm in the luggage claim area in the international arrivals wing of the airport. The explosion power was equivalent to 5 to 10 kilograms of TNT.
A criminal case has been opened into the incident. Police are searching for three suspects in connection with the blast.