At least 18 killed in blast at Crimea college

Suspected terrorist attack 10 killed dozens injured in explosion in Crimea college

Russian state media, quoting emergency-services officials, reported earlier that a suspected gas explosion at a technical college claimed several lives and injured dozens of people.

He said police arrived about 10 minutes later to evacuate people from the college and he saw dead bodies on the floor and charred walls.

President Vladimir Putin said the attack was a "tragic event" and expressed condolences to the victims' relatives.

Russia's RIA news agency cited an official at the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, a law enforcement body, saying the blast was probably caused by an unknown explosive device, although Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later told reporters that terrorism was among the versions being studied. Kerch is located on the peninsula where a bridge links Russian Federation and Crimea, Reuters reported.

Russia's top investigative agency says an explosive device rigged with metal fragments has killed 13 people at a college in Crimea.

Speaking to journalists and parents of missing students in the city of Kerch, where the shooting took place, Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov said the death toll stood at 18 plus the killer.

Crimea's regional chief, Sergei Aksyonov, told the state news channel Rossiya-24 that 53 people were wounded in the Kerch attack, 12 of whom are now in serious condition.

Crimea has been under Russia's control since Moscow sent troops to seize the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Anastasia Yenshina, a 15-year-old student at the college, said she was in a toilet on the ground floor of the building with some friends when she heard the sound of an explosion.

Witnesses did not speak of an explosion but said one or more armed men attacked the school.

Olga Grebennikova, the college's director, described a scene of bloodshed at the college, which provides vocational training.

AP describes the deadly assault as "by far the worst by a disgruntled student in Russian Federation", adding that "the bloodbath raised questions about school security in the country; the Kerch Polytechnic College had only a front desk with no security guards". One person could be seen on a stretcher being carried onto a bus.

The head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, and Russia's Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova headed to the area to coordinate assistance to those injured. Someone broke in 30 minutes after I left the building.

Video showed terrified students running and screaming during the attack on Kerch Polytechnic College which is near a new bridge connecting the region to Russian Federation.

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