Bomb on Volgograd Train Kills One

One person was killed and seven others were injured when a bomb exploded in a passenger train just outside of Volgograd on Monday morning, local police officials said.


The explosion, the latest in a series of bomb attacks which have plagued Russian public transportation in recent months, came two days after a large bomb was discovered and defused at Vnukovo airport in Moscow.


Vasily Zherkachev, chief of the Volgograd Oblast police, said one passenger died of complications from the Monday blast after being removed to the hospital. He did not specify the age, sex, or nationality of the victim.


Zherkachev said police had "several leads" and were investigating a number of different scenarios, including Chechen terrorism.


"It is probably still early to speak of a 'Chechen trail,' but this is one of the avenues we're looking into," he said, adding that no one had claimed responsibility for the bombing.


The Volgograd blast occurred at 5:15 a.m. on a train traveling between Volgograd and Astrakhan. The bomb went off while the train was at a station in Trubnaya, about 15 kilometers south of Volgograd.


Zherkachev said the bomb contained about 200 grams of TNT. Bombs in two recent attacks against Moscow trolleybuses were also reported to contain about 200 grams.


The blast was the second to take place in the Volgograd area in the last month. On July 26, a bomb exploded in an empty train at the Volgograd train station's freight terminal. That train had also been on the Volgograd-Astrakhan route, having just arrived from Astrakhan.


The Volgograd-Astrakhan line has been a special target over the past several weeks. On July 26, a bomb was found in the Astrakhan train station, and another was discovered Aug. 3 on the tracks, also in Astrakhan.


Russia's southern regions have been plagued by bomb attacks in recent months. On July 19, a bomb was discovered in a Voronezh train station after its detonator went off but failed to explode the device. On June 28, a bomb exploded in a bus in the Caucasus town of Mineralniye Vodi, killing six.


The Vnukovo incident took place Saturday afternoon. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the bomb was discovered by an officer of the traffic police in a waste bin on a street intersection less than a kilometer away from the airport. The bomb, which contained 500 grams of TNT, was considerably larger and potentially more destructive than the bombs which exploded in Moscow trolleybuses last month.


"The incident is being investigated," the ministry spokesman said. "No one has claimed responsibility for it."


Vnukovo has also been the site of a bomb scare in recent times. On July 18, the airport was closed for several hours after an anonymous caller telephoned in a bomb threat. However, no bomb was discovered after an intensive search.


Neither the Interior Ministry nor the Federal Security Service would comment on either of the bombings, saying that they would wait until investigations into the incidents were concluded.