Moscow blasts: Hundreds call for psychological help


Moscow : Hundreds of alarmed people called a Moscow psychiatric institute following two terrorist attacks in the Moscow subway, a spokesman for the institute said Tuesday.

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Twin blasts occurred during the rush hour in one of the world’s busiest transport systems Monday morning, killing at least 39 people and injuring around 70.

The first attack took place at around 8 a.m. at the Lubyanka station near the former KGB headquarters, which now houses the Federal Security Service. The second bomb detonated some 40 minutes later four stops along the line at Park Kultury station, which is within walking distance of the Kremlin.

After the blasts, the Moscow Serbsky Institute for Social and Forensic Psychiatry opened a hotline for relatives of the victims and those affected. Some 200 calls were received during the first few hours after the line opened, and around 600 people have called the institute for psychological assistance over the past 24 hours.

“Before, people mostly called for information about their relatives, now they turn to us with fears and concerns,” Anna Portnova from the Serbsky Institute said.

She said many of those who called the hotline said they were afraid of using the subway. Others asked where they could donate blood for the people injured in the blasts.

The number of passengers in the Moscow underground significantly decreased Monday following the attacks.

Despite increased security across the network, the evening rush hour saw the usually overcrowded metro carriages half empty as many people stayed away.

Psychologists have urged people not to be afraid of using the metro as the probability of an individual being the victim of a terrorist attack is very low.