Terrorist bombing in Volgograd: mother shields her child with her body and is blown apart by explosion

Volgograd, December 29, 2013

At approximately 12.45 on Sunday 29 December 17 people were killed by a suicide bombing at the central railway station in Volgograd. At that time the railway station was particularly crowded. After three trains had been cancelled many passengers were crowded in the waiting room.

However, the terrorists (according to the latest information there were two of them) did not manage to get into the waiting room: they were stopped at the metal detector. The explosion was set off during the examination. According to the committee of inquiry, the blast, which even tore hinges off the heavy station doors, was equal to at least 10 kg of TNT.

"Policemen who survived state that they reacted to a woman with a suspicious appearance. After a policeman tried to approach her, the bomb went off," said an agency spokesman.

The video cameras also focused on a man who was at the centre of the blast. During the examination of the site a man’s finger was found attached to a bomb pin, said the source; later another unexploded bomb and a gun which had probably belonged to the terrorist were found. The terrorist has already been identified but his identity has not yet been disclosed for reasons connected with the investigation. The only known fact is that he was Slav, as reported by Interfax.

The Mayor of Volgograd, Irina Guseva, told Interfax that a 9-year-old girl is among the survivors. "Her mother had time to cover her with her own body and she was torn to pieces by the blast. The girl herself is in extremely serious condition," said a spokeswoman for the agency. Later Guseva added that the child would probably be sent for treatment to Moscow.

However, an Interfax source on the ground states that the suicide bomber was a man who transported the bomb in a rucksack. According to the agency spokesman, the identity of the terrorist has already been established. The source has not reported the name of the supposed terrorist but noted that he was Slav. There is no official confirmation of this information so far.

Earlier media reports stated that a female suicide bomber had committed a terrorist bombing at the railway station but also gave her personal data. It was also reported that the woman’s head had been found at the site of explosion.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, one of the casualties was a policeman who was standing by the metal detector and six of his colleagues were injured. Later it was announced that the police had noticed the terrorist when he entered the building. When approached by a policeman, the criminal blew himself up.

The Committee of Enquiry has given information about the strength of the blast which was equivalent to at least 10 kilograms of TNT. In the evening a representative of the Committee of Enquiry, Vladimir Markin, reported that an unexploded grenade had been found at the site of the terrorist attack in Volgograd. This was later destroyed by a bomb disposal squad.

According to the vice-governor of the Volgograd Region, Vasily Galushkin, 14 people died at the site of explosion and three others died later in hospital. According to V. Markin’s update, nine victims have been identified.

In all 37 people aged between 9 and 60 remain in hospital. According to the official representative of the Ministry of Health, Oleg Salagai, 8 people are in a serious condition, one is in intensive care and one child is in a medium to serious condition and has been operated on.

The casualty list has been made public.

The Directorate of the Ministry for Emergencies in the Volgograd Region has opened a hotline to obtain information on the survivors and casualties. The number to call is: + 7 (8442) 23-03-18, 23-02-82, 23-07-73.



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