Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Bombs Rip Through Commuter Train

APInvestigators examining the site of the blasts Wednesday under a commuter train en route from Kislovodsk to Mineralniye Vodrossia / apy.
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Southern Russia -- Two bomb blasts rocked a crowded commuter train in the southern Stavropol region on Wednesday, killing at least four people and injuring dozens of others in the latest deadly attack in areas surrounding Chechnya, officials said.

Dmitry Oliferenko, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin's envoy to southern Russia, said five people died when two bombs exploded under the train en route from Kislovodsk to Mineralniye Vody.

Railways Minister Gennady Fadeyev said in televised comments that six people were killed -- three in the explosions and three others afterward. But regional Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Igor Mikhailov said that four were killed and 33 injured.

Channel One television said four students were killed by the morning explosions, and survivors told networks that many of the people on the train were college students and other young people. NTV television reported that the dead were an 18-year-old woman, two 21-year-old men and a 15-year-old boy. Many universities begin their fall semesters this month.

Local television channels showed the train, one of its cars derailed by the explosion, surrounded by officials and ambulances.

"Everything shook from side to side," passenger Ilya Kamyshanov said in an interview with Rossia television from a hospital bed. "All that I can remember is, lots of dust all over the place and everything shaking."

Hours after the blasts, 21 of the injured remained hospitalized, eight of them in serious condition, Mikhailov said.

Viktor Kazantsev, Putin's envoy to the Southern Federal District, said on television that police have arrested a man suspected of detonating the bombs. Local police said the suspect was injured in the explosion and hospitalized in critical condition.

The blasts hit as the train was approaching a small station on the outskirts of Kislovodsk, officials said. Railways Ministry spokesman Konstantin Pashkov said the bombs were planted on the railroad track and that there were about 50 people in a car that was directly hit by a blast.

Each of the two bombs contained about 150 grams of explosives, according to a preliminary estimate.

Russia has been rocked by several suicide bombings and other blasts that the government has blamed mostly on Chechen rebels. A string of bombings in and around Chechnya and in Moscow has killed more than 150 people since May.

An officer at the headquarters of the North Caucasus Military District, which oversees Chechnya, said on condition of anonymity Wednesday that the military recently received intelligence information that rebels were preparing a series of attacks throughout southern Russia.

The explosion occurred just hours before Putin arrived in the city of Rostov-on-Don, some 450 kilometers northwest of the explosion site, to lead a meeting of the presidential State Council, made up of regional governors. Putin spoke with Stavropol Governor Alexander Chernogorov about the explosions, local news agencies reported.