Moscow: At least 18 people were killed and dozens more injured in an explosion at a polytechnic college in Russian-annexed Crimea on Wednesday. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that anti-terror authorities were sent to examine the blast-hit area, Efe news reported. Initial reports suggested that the blast was a gas explosion caused by an “unidentified explosive device”. Also Read - 3 Arrested For Bomb Blast, Vandalism at West Bengal Church

National Guard units of Russia reached the scene after an official conveyed through Interfax that the blast was a deliberate “act of terrorism”. Also Read - Manipur: 5 Policemen, 1 Civilian Severely Injured in IED Blast in Imphal

Crimea’s Russian-backed Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov stated that a student was the alleged suspect behind the attack. He told the Russian state TV that after attacking the college, the student had committed suicide. The motive of the 18-year-old attacker was not immediately made public. Also Read - West Bengal: Three Suspected Cattle Smugglers Killed, One Injured in Accidental Crude Bomb Blast

A local official said that the victims of the blast were mostly students of the polytechnical college, according to a BBC report. A total of 850 teenagers are studying in the vocational school. A major emergency response operation was soon launched and the victims were hospitalized. As a part of the evacuation process, four military planes were sent. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the military hospital was ready to provide medical facilities to the victims if necessary.

Reports claim that all the victims have died of gunshot wounds. However, Sergei Aksyonov told Tass that reports of shooting after the explosion were false. The Russian backed leader has also declared three days of mourning for the victims. After the blast, several schools and pre-schools in the city were evacuated by authorities, stated news agency Reuters.