8-year-old Moscow student Alexandra Ershova behaved like a real hero during the tragedy in Moscow's aqua park “Transvaal”.
She saved a life of the three-year-old Masha Gavrilova. Alexandra (Sasha) Ershova in turn does not consider herself a hero. “Izvestia” presents the Sasha's story.
A room in a traumatology department of Morozovskaya children's hospital leads a rather active life. There are eight beds in the room. Each one of them is occupied by a girl. Similar to life loving sparrows, the girls run around in their picturesque pajamas. They greet everyone with an exclamation: “Our Sashka is a real hero!”
“Hero-Sasha” peacefully sits atop of her bed and is willing to tell the story of Saturday's events to anyone who wishes to listen.
-So here it goes. That day was my second time in the aqua park. Nothing scary happened the first time.
-What about the second time?
-The second time, there was barely enough time to get frightened. We were swimming right by the pool's side when everything began to collapse. It so happened that I ended up enclosed in a triangular hut, isolated from everyone. It seemed as though I was in a box.
-Why did you go to the aqua park that day?
-Oh, that is obvious! It was the day of…what’s his name…St.Valentine's Day! My parents decided to give me this present. We could have easily avoided the tragedy, but I fell asleep in the car. My parents did not want to wake me up. So they sat and waited for me to wake up. They've been waiting for me for an hour. If we entered earlier, we would have left sooner. Anyway, this was all my fault…
-Were you frightened when the wall fell?
-No. At first, I thought it was a thunderstorm. Then, a little girl distracted me. I noticed her holding on to a stone. I swam towards her and started to calm her down. I held her in my arms and waited until someone would rescue us…
The whole time Sasha has been holding the little girl in her arms, she did not notice that her own arm had in fact been broken. Sasha thought they remained in the pool only for 30 minutes, whereas in reality rescue workers required 1.5 hours to get to them.
-Sasha, where were your parents in time of the collapse?
-My mother was in a cafй and was not hurt at all, not even a scratch! My father was sliding down the waterslide. His leg is in terrible condition and doctors had to apply several stitches to his head. He is also in hospital right now. I often talk to him on the phone.
Sasha and Masha have both been rescued from the debris. They told the older girl to dive under the concrete barrier. She successfully completed the task while tightly holding the little girl's hand. Afterwards, Sasha was pulled up by her hair. The girl never let go off of the baby's hand.
-I am tired of being in this hospital. I want to go to school. I missed so many classes already. Pictures of me are already hanging in my school…Soon, everyone will ask for my autograph.
Recently, little Masha with her mother came to visit the girl’s savior. Masha gave her a “Barbie” doll and a toy poodle.
-What did Masha say to you? Did she recognize you?
-She recognized me. Yes. But she was always quite. Perhaps, she was still shocked.
As it turned out, little Masha Grigoryeva could not swim at all. She happened to be alone by accident. Her mother went for a water ride and her father wanted to watch her. As a result, the baby was left alone. In time of the collapse, she was completely isolated from her parents and her brother. She does not want to comment the tragedy.
Yulya Milogorskaya is Sasha’s bed-neighbor. She is also “from “Transvaal”. She is also eight years old. She attended the park with her parents. Her father Andrei Milogorodski is dead and is in a hospital. The girl is still unaware of her father's death. She is also unaware that her mother is in emergency room in critical condition.
There is a total of eight children in the hospital who survived “Transvaal.”
“Each one of them behaves differently,” stated assistant head surgeon Georgi Voronyuk in his interview to “Izvestia”. “All children remained in the state of shock. Many could not recall anything at all. They could not remember their home phone numbers. Today however they all feel much better. We plan to release them in a couple of days.
-Sasha, will you ever attend an aqua park again?
-Of course I will! Not every aqua park will collapse on St. Valentine's Day!