An explosion ripped through the subway of Minsk, the capital of Belarus. The cause of the explosion has not been determined yet, officials said. The explosion occurred at Oktyabrskaya station. This is the first time when such an incident takes place in the Minsk subway.
Oktyabrskaya Station is situated in the very center of the city. The administration of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is located nearby, across the street. Lukashenko has a work office in that building.
Several people have been killed and several others injured as a result of the explosion, news agencies report. No information has been received about the number of the victims yet.
Black smoke can be seen coming out from the station. People are seen running out with blood stains of their faces. Some of them have their clothes in rags, others come out of the station barefoot.
Rescuers have taken as many as 30 injured people out from the station. The character of the wounds - severe burns and traumas of arms and legs - mean that it was a very powerful explosion.
At least seven people have been reported dead, an eyewitness said. "I've seen two bodies covered with cloth from head to foot near the entrance to the station," an eyewitness said.
Most likely, the explosion occurred on the platform, at 17:56 local time.
The Minsk subway is the only subway system in Belarus. It is ranked the sixth largest subway system in the former USSR from the point of view of the number of stations. There are two lines (30.3 km long in total), 25 stations and two carhouses in the structure of the subway. The Minsk subway transports 800,000 passengers daily, which makes 36% of the city's public transportation traffic.
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