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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Injured Victims Tell Stories of Sudden Horror




The shock wave caught Yulia Guldina in mid-stride.


When the explosion went off at 19 Ulitsa Guryanova, "I was walking my dog in the courtyard of that building," she said Friday as she lay in her hospital bed.


"Suddenly something strange started to happen. First my bag and the dog leash flew out of my hands. Then Iwas lifted into the air and thrown to the ground. Then I heard a loud, booming sound and was covered with a pile of earth," said Guldina, 25, who lives in one of the apartment blocks near the blown-up building.


She was one of seven patients from the blast being treated at City Hospital No. 15, one of more than 180 injured overall. The blast in southeast Moscow at midnight Wednesday has claimed at least 90 lives.


"After the initial noise calmed down it all looked surreal. I was on the ground and flakes of burned stuff were floating in the air in silence."


Moments later, she said, people started screaming and pouring out of nearby buildings in confusion and panic.


"I screamed for a while for help, but nobody came to me. So I picked myself up and limped home," Guldina said. "I came home all covered in sand. It's amazing, but the dust and sand got so deep into my clothes, as if it was pressed into the fabric."


Guldina, who had a broken leg and a deep cut on her hip, called an ambulance but was told that one would only come if she was in really bad shape. She decided that wasn't the case, and, helped by others, made her way to doctors on the site. They had her taken to the hospital.


A few meters down the corridor lay another victim, who introduced herself as Natalya and asked that her name not be published, fearing the police because she lived in Moscow without official registration.


Natalya, 48, had just moved with her family to 17 Ulitsa Guryanova, which was damaged by the blast.


The windows of her apartment faced the building that was completely destroyed, and she was injured by flying glass.


"I was asleep when it happened," she said. "I woke up at a total loss. I thought it was a war. I was covered in blood, it was dark. My son ran into the room and told me that we should leave the building. My husband, who initially was in the same bed with me, was nowhere to be found."


"I could not understand anything. I was all covered in blood, but I could not even understand whether the blood was mine or my husband's," she said.


Gradually, people started to make their way out. Many, including Natalya, used the fire escape, fearing structural damage within the building.


By lucky coincidence Natalya found her husband at the same hospital.


He could not remember anything from the explosion. He had a broken foot, cuts and bruises.


Doctors were still removing glass from her wounds Friday.


"When we got down there was one big mess. People were wandering around calling for relatives, screaming from pain," Natalya said.


"I remember clearly this one girl. She must have stayed out late chatting with boys in the yard of the nearby school. And she must have lived in the exploded house. She was screaming. I've never heard such screams before. The house where her family had lived was no longer there, nor was the family."