‘All covered with blood’: Survivor of St. Petersburg Metro bombing to RT
Vladimir Zakharchenko, a 20-year-old football player and student from St. Petersburg State Transport University, said he couldn’t understand what initially happened when the blast rocked the carriage.
“I was hit in the face and when I opened my eyes, I saw sparks and they fell on my face, on my head,” he told RT from hospital.
“I sat down in the corner near the doors of the carriage, saw people running to the furthest part of the carriage and realized that the blast was in the front part.”
Zakharchenko recalls “deformed doors” and “people suffering [from injuries]” following the blast, adding that he then “started to panic.”
He recalled that the train was actually moving despite the blast. When it stopped at the Tekhnologichesky Institut station, people knocked out the emergency windows and began to get out, he said.
“I was shaking. We were all covered with blood, with burnt hair,” he said, adding that his mother couldn’t believe that such an incident could happen to her son till the last moment.
Zakharchenko, whose eardrums were raptured, hopes the tragedy won’t dash his dreams of further playing for one of the city’s football teams, ‘Nevskie Lvy’ (Nevsky Lions).
RT visited another survivor, a young woman (name not disclosed) who was also in the ill-fated third carriage of the train. She recalled the moments the whole carriage plunged into chaos.
“I remember a bright flash. Then it went dark and it was a sharp smell of chemicals,” she told RT, adding that the train kept going despite the explosion.
Another survivor, a young man named Zaur, recalled that, “for around ten seconds after the bomb went off, everybody remained on the floor, myself included. The lights were off in our carriage. A man helped me get out of there through one of the broken windows.”
People from a total of 17 Russian regions are listed among the injured in the incident, according to official figures.
Another young woman, Sasha Zyablitskaya, came to St. Petersburg from the city of Barnaul in western Siberia with her grandmother. She sustained an injury to her left hand in the explosion.
Luckily, Zyablitskaya and her grandmother, Vera, survived the blast with no further injuries. Both sustained concussions, Nadezhda (Zyablitskaya’s mother) told RT by phone.
“The main thing is that my mother [Vera] and my daughter [Sasha] are alive. They are under 24/7 supervision [in hospital] and I am looking forward to seeing them,” she added.
A total of 14 people were killed and dozens injured, according to the latest data, presented by Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, on Tuesday.