An explosion took place in St. Petersburg metro at around 3 pm local time [12:00 GMT], claiming the lives of 10 and leaving 37 people injured.
The city residents were understandably shocked by this terrible occurrence.
Denis Skovoroda, a student, told Sputnik that he was commuting back home when the blast took place and that his subway train passed through the Tekhnologichesky Institut station apparently minutes after the train where the bomb had exploded arrived there.
"There was a wrecked train carriage, it smelled like something was burning, and a lot of people in uniforms were carrying away the injured. The people looked scared and confused, uncertain about what to do," he said.
Tatiana Nikitina, a local resident, also arrived at the Tekhnologichesky Institut after the explosion.
"There were people covered in blood, with blackened faces, all of them shocked. There were body parts hanging from their clothes," she said.
Nikitina also managed to talk to a woman "with burning hair and a burned face" who was apparently in the same carriage as the explosion.
"She said that the sound of an explosion came from the center of the carriage… No one could understand what was happening. The carriage stopped immediately and men started breaking down windows and doors to let everyone out," Nikitina added.
Yet despite the initial shock and confusion, the people did not give in to panic.
Another witness, Artyom Protsyuk, said that he ran to Sennaya Ploshchad after he was informed about the explosion. While he saw a number of emergency vehicles near the station, Protsyuk noted no evidence of panic.
"Even though there were a lot of people at the station, there was no panic. People reacted calmly to announcements about the subway station being closed… Everyone acted calmly and in an orderly fashion. I saw several women crying and a girl who was looking for her brother – she was asking the police officers if there was a way for her to get inside the subway station. The officers apparently explained the situation to her because the girl quickly calmed down," Protsyuk said.
Ret. Lt. Col. Andrei Popov, former special forces operator and member of the Alpha anti-terrorist group veterans’ association, noted that the city residents displayed a remarkable absence of panic and hysteria in the aftermath of the explosion.
"My attention was drawn to a woman wearing a torn undercoat which hinted at the fact that she also was in that carriage. She was visibly shaken, and yet there she was, helping other people to get out of the wrecked train carriage," Popov remarked.
And as the city subway system was temporarily shut down, local taxi company Taxovichkoff quickly stepped in to offer its services for free to the people who found themselves deprived of affordable means of transportation. According to a company representative, Taxovichkoff has deployed about 100 cabs to the city center, picking up people at subway stations and ferrying them where they need to go.
"In times like these the whole city and the nation must stand together and help those in need, including people who are unable to commute back home from work," she said.