Thu 17 March 2022:
Rescue workers are searching for survivors in the rubble of a theatre in the besieged city of Mariupol after Ukraine said a powerful Russian air strike had hit the building where hundreds of people had been sheltering from the war.
The port city is encircled by Russian forces and has faced some of the fiercest bombardment of the conflict.
Petro Andrushchenko, an adviser to the city’s mayor, said some people had survived the blast.
“The bomb shelter held. Now the rubble is being cleared. There are survivors. We don’t know about the (number of) victims yet,” he told Reuters by phone.
He said rescue work was underway to reach survivors and establish the number of casualties, which was still unknown.
Russia has denied bombing the theatre.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that the allegation that Russia had bombed the theatre was a “lie” and repeated Kremlin denials that Russian forces have targeted civilians since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Tetyana Ignatchenko, spokesperson of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration, said there had been 1000 people inside the Mariupol theatre a week ago.
“But after that, many people were able to escape. We can’t say exactly how many people were in the theatre. We can only assume 400-500. Half of them.”
A Ukrainian parliamentarian said 130 civilians have far been rescued from the theatre.
“Good news that we need so urgently. The air raid shelter under the theatre of Mariupol has stood up to it. Around 130 people have already been saved,” Olga Stefanishyna wrote on Facebook.
“It’s a miracle,” she said, describing how rescue workers were removing rubble to free other survivors.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
FOLLOW INDEPENDENT PRESS:
TWITTER (CLICK HERE)
FACEBOOK (CLICK HERE)
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!