BREAKING: Explosion injures seven people as police lock down city centre

Four people have been hospitalised following the blast this evening.

Nobody was killed in the explosion, but local media has reported up to six more victims are being treated at the scene. 

Russian media service RT has reported officials are treating the incident as a “potential mass homicide attempt”.

Sources are quoted as telling local media the explosion, which reportedly took place in a storage locker inside the store, was equivalent to 200g of TNT.

The blast ripped through the store on the ground floor of the ground floor Gigant Hall shopping complex, which is traditionally packed with shoppers in the days before the New Year celebrations. 

Footage from the scene shows emergency service vehicles parked outside the building where the Perekrestok supermarket is located. 

An official from the Emergencies Ministry told Russian news agency TASS: “There was a bang. Emergency personnel are already on the scene.

“The evacuation has been completed, and there was no fire.”

More to follow…