Hotspots and Incidents » Disasters, catastrophes
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Passengers of Tu-134 were burning alive - eyewitnesses

Reporters managed to find the people who rescued passengers from the Tupolev 134 passenger plane that crashed in Russia's Karelia yesterday.

Yevgeny Kovalev is one of those who rushed to help the wounded. There were survivors in the jetliner, but it was impossible to take the people out of the plane because of the fire. According to Yevgeny, he was watching TV at home on Monday night when all of a sudden electricity in the house went off. The next moment, the man heard a strong sound of something big falling down on the ground.

Yevgeny ran towards the car road and saw a man lying on the ground and moaning. Yevgeny put him to safety and then ran to help a woman who was also thrown out from the plane during the crash. The woman had her leg broken. The last person, whom Yevgeny could help, was a man in pilot's uniform, but the pilot was already dead.

Kovalev said that he could hear screams from the fire, but the flame was so strong that it was impossible to get close to the plane. He said that he could hear three explosions inside the plane. Fire brigades arrived soon, but it took them about 20 minutes to put the fire down.

Valery Minin is another eyewitness of the tragedy. Two large chassis wheels fell in his garden during the crash.

In pictures: Tu-134 crashes in Russia

"I was carrying a person on my arms, it was hard for me to understand what actually happened. Afterwards, we found another man, he said his name was Sergei. Then we found two more people, in the center of the road. I saw someone reaching out to me, but I could not do anything - everything began to explode and burn...I can't talk about this," Valery told Vesti TV channel.

A resident of Karelia, Alexandra Kandopolova, 36, was flying the Tu-134 plane to Petrazavodsk to visit her parents and son. The woman said that she had fallen asleep soon after takeoff. She lost consciousness when the plane crashed and came to her senses only when a dark-haired woman was pulling her out of the plane. Alexandra was hospitalized with fractures of her ribs.

Correspondents of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper talked to two other eyewitnesses of the tragedy. Ksenia and her boyfriend Vitaly were driving only 200 meters far from the crash site. The woman said that at first she had seen a ball of fire in the sky in the rear-view mirror. The ball crashed down on the ground and broke apart.

The couple immediately turned back and drove closer to the debris of the plane. They saw people burning alive. As Ksenia and Vitaly were running up, several explosions occurred. According to Ksenia, at first they saw a young woman, who said that her name was Yulia - it was Yulia Skvortsova, and air hostess. She became the only survivor among the crew.

Vitaly pulled a man out of fire. Two local residents appeared on the crash site soon - all of them managed to save eight people altogether.

It became known today that the youngest of the few survivors - Anton Terekhin, a ten-year-old boy - died at hospital of Petrozavodsk from injuries on Tuesday night.