Officials said an “unidentified explosive device” detonated at the technical college in Kerch, where Russia has built a bridge between the peninsula and Russia.
Sergei Aksyonov, Crimea’s Russian-backed leader, said a student was responsible for the attack.
Initial reports had suggested that the blast was some sort of gas explosion.
Mr Aksyonov told Russian state TV the student had killed himself.
A Russian national guard official said the incident was a deliberate “terrorist act” caused by an improvised explosive device.
National guard units had reached the scene of the “act of terrorism”‘ he told Interfax.
A local official said most of the blast victims were students of the technical college, which is a vocational school for 850 teenagers.
Victims have been taken to hospital, and a major emergency response operation launched.
Four military planes were ready to evacuate the wounded and military hospital facilities were ready to accept victims if necessary, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
"If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy." David Frum, Republican, January 18, 2018
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