Death toll rises to 18 in Crimea college blast: Regional leader

Reuters
Kerch, Crimea Published: Oct 17, 2018, 04.09 PM(IST)

Representative image. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Ambulances and firefighters were at the scene. One person could be seen on a stretcher being carried onto a bus.

At least 18 people died in a blast in a technical college on the Crimean peninsula, with dozens more injured, Crimean head Sergei Aksyonov said on state television on Wednesday.

"It's a colossal tragedy, 18 people died, and 40 more injured, for the time being," Aksyonov told Rossiya 24 channel, after authorities earlier said 50 people were injured. 

A student carried out the attack and shot himself, according to the leader of the Russian-annexed peninsula Sergei Askyonov.

"There are already lots of people in the emergency room, and in the operating theatre," TASS quoted the employee as saying.

Photographs from the scene of the blast posted by local media outlet Kerch.FM showed ground floor windows of the two-storey building had been blown out, and debris from the building was lying on the floor outside.

Ambulances and firefighters were at the scene. One person could be seen on a stretcher being carried onto a bus.

The technical college provides vocational training to teenage pupils.

Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014, prompting international condemnation and Western sanctions. Kerch is the point on the peninsula where a bridge linking Crimea to Russia makes landfall on the Crimean side.

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the bridge to road traffic in May this year, getting behind the wheel of a truck to drive it across the bridge.

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