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30 Dec, 2013 17:47

Blanket saves infant from deadly burns in Volgograd blast

Blanket saves infant from deadly burns in Volgograd blast

​A mere blanket protected a three -month-old baby from receiving life-threatening burns in the Volgograd trolleybus explosion, Russian media reported. However, the attack claimed the lives of the child’s mother and grandmother.

The baby blanket is the reason that Vika Tolkunova escaped heavy burns following the terror blast. The infant was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition. She is currently in a coma, suffering from multiple skull fractures and lung trauma. Medics are currently fighting to save her life, Life News reported.

The three-month-old infant, along with her mother and grandmother, was caught in the blast while traveling to the hospital, said Ekaterina Matus, the baby’s aunt. The relative added that the baby was ill.

When Matus heard about the attack, she immediately phoned the Ministry of Emergency Situations hot line. She soon learned that her sister and mother were killed in the blast and an unidentified baby was transported to the nearest hospital. Matus rushed to the medical center and immediately recognized her niece by the remains of her clothing.

People outside the representative office of Volgograd Region in Moscow during a memorial event for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Volgograd. (RIA Novosti / Maksim Blinov)

At least 14 people were killed in the trolleybus blast in Volgograd, Russia’s emergency services reported on Monday. The targeted bus, which was traveling on a popular line at rush hour, was full of passengers - particularly students from nearby colleges. It was traveling to a hospital where many victims of the Sunday railway station attack are currently being treated.

A pregnant woman and two 16-year-olds were also injured in the Monday bombing. The woman, who is not in critical condition, has been transferred to a prenatal center in Volgograd.

However, almost everyone injured by the bus blast is in serious condition, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsovo said. Overall, the survivors of Monday’s bombing are more seriously injured than those who survived the Sunday blast. At least five people remain in critical condition in hospitals. Some of the injured are expected to be transported to Moscow hospitals “in due course,” according to First Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets.

Many nearby residents rushed to help victims and their relatives upon hearing news of the second blast.

More than 600 people have already volunteered to give blood at the Volgograd regional blood bank, head doctor Andrey Valikov told RIA Novosti.

An overcrowded blood donor center in Volgograd on December 30, 2013 (Image by Vasiliy Varlamov)

Muscovites have also expressed readiness to donate blood, the Mosvolonter organization said on its website. “On behalf of all volunteers in our city we offer our condolences to the families of victims of the two blasts in Volgograd,” the statement reads. The organization has called on Moscow residents to donate blood on January 4-5.

Despite an overabundance of blood, Russian citizens continue to offer their assistance."There is already enough blood. Our needs are well covered, we have more than enough...but we will not refuse anyone," Valikov said.

Many students from Volgograd’s universities have volunteered to assist those injured in the trolleybus blast, helping nurses and medics at the hospital.

A number of Volgograd companies are contributing to transportation in the area, providing commuters with safe rides to work.

Residents of Kaliningrad bring flowers and candles to a tablet set up in the center of Kaliningrad in memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks in Volgograd. (RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo)

Meanwhile, a charity campaign has been launched by the Volgograd Charity Foundation. Anyone can donate via text message to the organization. The funds will help aid those impacted by the recent attacks.

The Spiritual Administration of Muslims in Moscow has launched a fundraiser to collect money for the families of the bombing victims. “Moscow Mufti Ildar Alyautdinov has personally donated 50,000 rubles (US$1,520),” the administration’s press service said.

Orthodox Christian churches are praying for the victims. Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, said a special prayer for those currently in hospital in the wake of the attacks, his office reported.

According to Russian authorities, one million rubles ($30,400) will be given to the families of those killed in the bus blast. Others will receive between 200,000 and 400,000 rubles ($6,000-$12,000), depending on the injuries.