Grenade in St. Petersburg Car Kills 3

APForensic experts and police officers examining the scene of the explosion in St. Petersburg on Tuesday morning.
A grenade detonated inside of a car in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, killing three people inside, including a young child, investigators said.

The explosion happened at about 9 a.m. Tuesday near the Udelnaya metro station in St. Petersburg's northern outskirts, immediately killing two of the three passengers, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

A third passenger died shortly after the blast, and the driver of the car -- a Lada -- was hospitalized with shrapnel wounds, the statement said.

The child, who was killed immediately in the explosion, was between 2 1/2 and 3 years old, emergency situation officials said.

It was unclear exactly what set off the blast, but St. Petersburg police spokesman Vladislav Piotrovsky told reporters that the injuries to one of the male passengers indicated that he may have detonated the grenade by accident, Interfax reported.

"There wasn't any crime, there wasn't any terrorist act," Piotrovsky was quoted as saying. "The grenade exploded spontaneously. So far, it's unclear how the man acquired the grenade."

An Investigative Committee source told RIA-Novosti that it was an F-1 grenade, also known as a limonka, or "little lemon," that detonated in the car.

Killed in the blast was Maria Sandalova, 27, who worked as head of financial monitoring at the St. Petersburg branch of midsized investment bank KIT Finance, company spokeswoman Oksana Grigorova said Tuesday. Police informed the company that Sandalova had been killed, Grigorova said.

Sandalova's husband, Yevgeny Simonov, 27, and their daughter Yeva were also killed by the explosion, Fontanka.ru reported. The web site identified the driver as Dmitry Korotkov, 22.

The driver was operated on for shrapnel wounds to the chest and limbs at the Military Medical Academy in St. Petersburg, said Igor Samokhvalov, head of the department of military and field medicine at the academy. The first operation went well, he said. "So far, there is no danger to his life," Samokhvalov said, Interfax reported.

The male passenger, who is believed to have detonated the grenade, was a former soldier who had served in the Khabarovsk region, Piotrovsky of the St. Petersburg police said, Interfax reported.

He had been working as a lawyer in the housing sector, Piotrovsky added.