The force of the crash crumpled parts of the train, propelling several of its 14 cars well off the rails, trapping passengers in smashed compartments and scattering luggage into the nearby woods. People on the train, called the Nevsky Express, perhaps the most illustrious in Russia, reported a scene of panic and devastation.UPDATE:
The investigative wing of the prosecutor general’s office said on Saturday that it had discovered remnants of a bomb at the site that left a crater five feet deep.
Vladimir Yakunin, head of the Russian railway system, said, “The basic version that it is being investigated by the lead investigators is that it was an unknown device, by unknown persons. Simply put, a terrorist act.”
There were no immediate credible claims of responsibility.
The explosion was the worst terrorist attack in Russia in years, outside the volatile North Caucasus region.
In nationally televised remarks, President Dmitri A. Medvedev called for calm. “We need there to be no chaos, because the situation is tense as it is,” he said.
The death toll continues rising, as the Times of India reports 39 were killed.