“We live in a tinderbox” – Vladikavkaz resident
Zaira Abayeva was in the pavilion at the market when the blast occurred.
“I didn’t hear much. We were sitting there talking and then we heard some debris fall on the ground – that was it. We came outside and saw dead bodies on the ground,” she says. “I didn’t look at the time. I think it was around 11.”
Another local woman says she cannot find her daughter-in-law, who was at the market when all happened.
“A grandmother was killed along with one of her grandchildren. My daughter-in-law went to the market and I still don’t know if she is alive. She hasn’t called me. I am so sorry to lose them,” she cried. “I was at home. My house is on the street nearby so I heard it. I don’t know what happened. I came here and they told me that everyone died. The people who had a fruit stand here, the woman who sold greens… they have all been killed,” she said.
Eyewitness Ernest Akadzhan said his friend works at the market as a jeweler and survived only by chance.
“They survived because they entered a shop across the street from the bombing scene right before the explosion. His mother happened to be standing behind a pillar when the bomb went off – she survived. A woman was standing in the doorway and this is what we pulled out of her leg, look!” Akadzhan said, showing a large piece of twisted debris.
RT also managed to get through to one local resident via phone, though the phone connection in Vladikavkaz is very bad at the moment as a result of the attack.
Natalya Khostroyeva said she is used to living in fear of violence.
“Central and key streets have been cordoned off. I live in the city center. We heard the blast, but couldn't tell where it came from. We learned from our neighbors that there’d been an explosion at the market. Naturally, I did not let my child go to school,” she said. “I heard that there might be a second blast, as is often the case. We are living in a tinderbox. People are being evacuated from the building and I cannot enter it. I don’t know what’s awaiting me. I cannot reach anyone. The connection is poor; it’s impossible to dial a single number – I cannot even get through to my own home. Basically, the situation is very difficult. It’s impossible to get used to it, but we have to live with it,” Khostroyeva said.