Student gunman kills 18 in attack on Crimea college, ussia
An 18-year-old student ran through the technical college in Kerch firing at fellow pupils before killing himself, Russian investigators say.
Officials and witnesses have also spoken of at least one blast caused by an unidentified explosive device.
Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 in a move condemned by many Western powers.
The annexation marked the start of a simmering conflict involving Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine that goes on to this day.
There are bodies everywhere, children’s bodies everywhere. It was a real act of terrorism. They burst in five or 10 minutes after I’d left. They blew up everything in the hall, glass was flying,’ Grebennikova told Crimean media outlets.
‘They then ran about throwing some kind of explosives around, and then ran around the second floor with guns, opened the office doors, and killed anyone they could find.’
The Investigative Committee, the law enforcement body that investigates major crimes, said initial information was that an explosive device packed with metal objects had gone off in the cafeteria of the college.
It said in a statement that there were around 50 people wounded in the attack.
Russian news agencies quoted a senior official with Russia’s National Guard, a law enforcement agency, as saying that the attack was being treated as terrorism. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
An employee at a hospital in Kerch was quoted as saying that 18 people had already been admitted with injuries from the explosion, and that doctors were expecting around 50 more wounded people to be brought in.
‘There are already lots of people in the emergency room, and in the operating theatre,’ the TASS news agency quoted the employee as saying.
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.
‘I came out and there was dust and smoke, I couldn’t understand, I’d been deafened,’ she told Reuters. ‘Everyone started running. I did not know what to do. Then they told us to leave the building through the gymnasium.’
‘Everyone ran there... I saw a girl lying there. There was a child who was being helped to walk because he could not move on his own. The wall was covered in blood. Then everyone started to climb over the fence, and we could still hear explosions. Everyone was scared. People were crying.’
Photographs from the scene of the blast posted by local media outlet Kerch.FM showed that the ground floor windows of the two-storey building had been blown out, and that debris was lying on the floor outside.
Emergency services teams could be seen in the photographs carrying wounded people from the building on makeshift stretchers and loading them on to buses and ambulances.