Thursday, June 16, 2005

Grozny-Moscow Train: An Eyewitness Account

From The Russian-Chechen Friendship Society



Elita Magomadova, a passenger of "Grozny - Moscow" train: "Many of the victims have not turned to doctors for help because of the shock"

Elita Magomadova, a third year student of Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, has been a volunteer of the Information Center at the RCFS for a long time. She teaches the Chechen language to the staffers of the editorial office in Nizhny Novgorod. On 12 June, 2005 she was going to Moscow on the train that was blasted in Usunovo-Bogatischevo span by unknown terrorists. Today Elita Magomadova told about that ill-fated morning to the correspondent of the Information Center.

The Grozny - Moscow train that I was going by was to arrive in the capital at 9.34 am on 12 June. At about 6 am the woman who was in my compartment, Khazhar by name, woke me up. I washed my face and returned to the compartment. We were talking sitting at the table. I was looking through the window and Khazhar was sitting leaning against the back of her berth. It was 6.45 am when we heard a sound of an explosion.

Khazhar leapt up from the berth and rushed to the door. I saw through the window some metal pieces flying in the air. I was thrown to the floor. At that moment there was another much mightier explosion. My carriage No2 was tossing and then it started to fall to the right. The carriage was falling to pieces. Its parts and walls were coming off.

Then the carriage stopped suddenly. It stroke against a signpost that stopped it. The post breached the wall near the floor and its end entered our compartment. I was blocked up with a strained piece of metal. I could have been beheaded with it.

Strange as it may seem, nobody was screaming. I even thought that I was the only one who survived. Then a few young men from an adjacent compartment helped me to get out. They were injured too. One of them cut his arms. Another one hurt his leg. Then I looked into the corridor. I saw a woman there whose eye was cut with a plastic fragment of the carriage facing. She was not screaming either. All the people were shocked so much that they could express their emotions. The period between the two explosions was just two minutes. I noted the time by my cell phone that I was holding in my hand.

Then other carriages started falling down. When we managed to get out of the carriage, we saw that the train had been torn asunder. The locomotive and the first carriage were standing on the railway a few meters away. If the post had not stopped our carriage, the outcomes would have been much graver. The front pane of the locomotive was smashed. We went away from the railway as fast as we could because we were afraid that new explosions might follow.

Policemen convoying the train ran up to our carriage. They started to help people to get out and they rendered the first aid to some of them. However, many people managed to get out without any help although they were injured. All the people went down the railroad embankment, sat down on the ground and just looked at the six carriages lying on their sides. In ten or fifteen minutes a little girl started crying and screaming as one of her legs was burnt. Some policemen who arrived at the site in the car drove her away. Some twenty minutes after that an ambulance arrived. But people living in dachas situated along the railroad had already begun to help us. They brought water, medicines and took some people to their houses. They also offered their cell phones to call our relatives. However, cell communication was blocked soon. The police videoed the site and prohibited all the other people to take pictures. They said that it was necessary for their security.There was one girl among the passengers who also videoed the site but the police forced her to give the tape to them and then erased the video. Many of the victims didn't ask for help as they were shocked.

It was about 10 am when a suburban electric train came. We got into it. Nobody helped us. I didn't feel any pain at that time. However, I feel sick now and all my body is aching. To all appearances, I have a brain concussion.

When we were going through the territory of the North Caucasus,everybody seemed worried as if people had foreseen some danger. Then we calmed down and fell asleep. Nobody thought that we were in danger in the territory of Russia. It is clear that Chechens could not commit this act of terror. It's absurd.

Editor in chief Stanislav Dmitriyevskiy
(via chechnya-sl)

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