"I was shocked to see three passenger seats in my yard. Two people were sitting on them"
A lot of recent publications in the Russian press have been devoted to the air crash, which took place in the country on Tuesday night. Mass media outlets published eyewitnesses' stories and the narrations of the rescuers, who worked on the crash sites.
"Everything is mashed over there," police officer Yefremov said. "The hull of the plane is 500 meters far from its tail. There are no more fragments around. Probably, it is because of the fact that the tragedy happened at the height of 9,5 thousand meters. The plane simply broke into two," the officer of the cordon off unit said. "The alarm woke us up at 3 a.m. When we arrived to guard the plane fragments, I came up to one of the pieces and looked inside. I saw the bodies in the hull – they were messed and twisted up in one big pile, like rubber bands. They had no faces. Do you understand? No faces! I cannot imagine how rescuers and doctors work there," Yefremov said.
Dozens of rescuers work on the plane hull, cutting it into small pieces and making holes in the hull to take the bodies out. Soldiers pack the remains in plastic bags and load them onto trucks. Ambulance vehicles proved to be useless – no survivors were left in the crashes. The bodies are to be identified in the morgue tomorrow.
A 12-year-old boy Seva Shamayan told reporters on the crash site: “I was staying outside until late. When I was going home I heard a dog barking. Our house started shaking all over, and then I heard the loud roaring noise. I looked up and saw the plane, its lights. The plane was circling and then it blew up.”
The boy was the only person, who saw the plane. However, a lot of eyewitnesses heard the loud noise. “I was in the cow-house at that moment. All of a sudden I heard the thunder-like noise, as if ten pursuit planes were flying above our village. Even the ground was shaking. I was frightened so I ran into the house to my children. They asked me if it was a thunderstorm outside. Then we heard an explosion and it went quiet,” the local resident Galina Yershova said. “When I woke up at 5 o'clock in the morning, I went outside and saw many helicopters. Police officers were everywhere.”
The crash site of the jetliner Tu-154, which was flying from Moscow to the resort city of Sochi is situated eight kilometers far from the settlement of Gluboki, the Rostov region. A spokeswoman for the local emergency department, Natalia Vlasenko, said that rescue squads had arrived to the crash site in 30 minutes after the alarm.
Over a thousand people were working on the Tu-154 crash site on Wednesday: rescuers, firemen, special agents, law-enforcement officers and doctors. Plane fragments were scattered around on the 25-kilometer area.
The bodies of six people were found by 4 p.m. Five bodies were found near one of the local settlements; another body, supposedly a crew member, was found in the field. Five other bodies were reportedly found on the outskirts of another village. The number of dead bodies reached 13 by 5 p.m.
I went out early in the morning to feed cattle. I was shocked to see three passenger seats in my yard. Two dead people were sitting on them – a fair-haired woman about 35 years old and a little girl, about seven years old. There was only a t-shirt and a sock on the girl. I rushed home to call the police,” local resident Yury Bodrin said.
The police arrived in 15 minutes. Bodrin showed them another dead body. A big man in his forties was lying with no clothes on in the field. The man's head was smashed.
Townsfolk say they did not see any blood on the ground, just the bodies. “There was no blood, but the bodies were flabby, as if there were no bones in them,” Vasily Bodrin told the Kommersant.