Moscow's Domodedovo airport has been closed to international flights following an explosion which has claimed at least 24 lives.

Domodedovo operator East Line Group says in a statement that the explosion occurred at 16:32 local time in the international arrivals hall, "where people who are not passengers have free access".

East Line puts the preliminary number of fatalities at 24, with 30 injuries. "Victims are being treated on-site or sent to hospitals in the city," it adds.

NOTAM information states that the airport is closed to international arrivals and it is estimated that it will remain closed until 20:00.

East Line said in October 2004 that it would invest $20 million in new security equipment and tighten security procedures, following fatal bomb attacks on two internal Russian flights which had departed the airport in August of that year.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news