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    Eyewitnesses describe 'panic' after metro explosions

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    Eyewitness of the two explosions on the Moscow metro this morning have described the chaos that ensued after the blasts.

    Eyewitness of the two explosions on the Moscow metro this morning have described the chaos that ensued after the blasts.

    Alexandra Antonova described her reaction to the blast at  Lubyanka metro station, where the first bomb was detonated.

    "I was in shock. I was deafened by the sound of the blast, but at first I didn't think it was a terrorist attack. Then I saw all the smoke and realized it had been an explosion.

    "My only thought was to get away as quickly as possible," she said.

    She managed to change to a different train and arrived at Park Kultury metro station, the site of the second attack, just a few minutes before the blast.

    "I was very lucky," she said.

    Valery Shuverov, a witness at Park Kultury said reports of the power of the explosion had been exaggerated.

    “It wasn’t big; that’s why this talk of two or three kilos of TNT is just bullshit. Maybe one or one and a half. But there were so many people packed together. That’s why there was such a high number of casualties.

    “I’ve seen loads of explosions in my time, and this was nothing. I’m fine. It was just a ‘pop’ like the kind if fire crackers we might let off at New Year.”

    He added that the reaction to the explosion was very calm

    “There were some women crying and screaming and there were some people bleeding and wounded, but they were walking. I was two or three carriages away, so I didn’t see any bodies or anything.”

    After the explosions there was a rush of people trying to leave the subway stations. The Moscow metro is one of the busiest in the world, carrying around 5,5 million passengers a day. Rush hour, when the attacks took place, is one of the busiest times.

    One witness said that some of the wounded were pushed along in the crowd of around 1,000 people trying to leave the station via one escalator.

    “At the exit near the escalator two wounded women, who had been carried along in the crowd, overtook me. They had cuts on their faces and burnt hair. There was also a man with a wound on his neck.”

    Moscow student Ivan Bukhradtse said he experienced trouble trying to leave Park Kultury station.

    “I saw several wounded people being carried and some walking by themselves. There was a lot of smoke and one escalator wasn’t working so people had difficulties leaving the metro,” he said.

    “The metro staff and the police were very helpful. They reacted very well. The main problem was that they didn’t shut down the subway system. If they had stopped it immediately, there there wouldn’t have been such big crowds.”

    The first attack took place at 7:52 a.m. (03:52 GMT) at the Lubyanka station, located a short distance from the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB), and killed at least 24 people, with another 39 injured.

    The second blast detonated some 40 minutes later at the nearby Park Kultury station, within walking distance of the Kremlin. At least 12 people lost their lives and 23 were injured.

    One more person is reported to have died in the bombings, making the death toll 37.

    Moscow, March 29 (RIA Novosti)


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