Many came to see the fireworks with the children.
The “Independence Day” salute in Minsk ended with a tragedy. A 64-year-old woman died, a boy was taken to hospital with an open fracture and abdominal trauma. The eye-witnesses of the incident, who watched the salute from the side of the Masherau Avenue, not far from the Dynama sports complex, told onliner.by what actually happened there.
Aliaksandr: “My wife and I looked at each other and understood: something is wrong, this is not the way it should be”
Minsker Aliaksandr came to see the fireworks with his wife and kids. He was not standing at the very water, but on the stairs that go down to the embankment.
“The first explosion was powerful and strong, there was even the blast wave,” he says. “Naturally, there came a blow. Previously, they shot from D-30 cannons, but this was incomparably stronger, 5-7 times more powerful. After the first explosion, as everything went boom, it became clear that the cloud came from Victory Park. My wife and I looked at each other and realized that something was wrong, this was not the way it should be. It was obvious that the salute was fired lower. Then there came a second powerful explosion. After that, the salute stopped. It continued only near the office of Belaruskali.
Already when Aliaksandr, with his wife and children, were going in the direction of the tram tracks, they saw that people were running from the sports complex shouting: “The artery is damaged, this is urgent!” It turned out that a woman had been badly injured.
- They stood right next to the embankment from the side of the sports complex. It turns out that this projectile flew to her over the river, and damaged the carotid artery in her neck,” explains Aliaksandr. - The first ambulance vehicle arrived, the doctors started to render assistance. Then came four more cars. They were all around that first car, and they all tried to help the woman. They did manual heart massage for at least 30 minutes without stopping.
- There was a girl beside that woman, she shouted: “Mom, please don’t leave!” There was also a man, apparently a son-in-law, - Aliaksandr continues. - He saw all this, felt bad, fainted, the paramedics carried him to an ambulance car on a stretcher. They gave him time to regain breath, then he went out. There were already some people in jackets, perhaps from the KGB, then people from the Investigatory Committee, and so on.
Aliaksandr says that he saw another injured guy who was having his arm bandaged from shoulder to forearm, as well as two other men with bandages on their arms.
- There, at the sports complex, the windows fell down. The traffic police officer who stood there with the conscripts from the special forces, said that the windows in the residential buildings were also blown down by the explosions, - he recalls. According to Aliaksandr, there was no panic. He says that people did not understand what happened.
- Those who were standing closer to the Dynama sports complex probably figured out that it shouldn't be like that, as they saw the broken windows. And those who were closer to the road, probably did not understand anything. Most people turned around and went towards the Charviakova and Very Kharuzhay Streets, they thought, probably that salute ended, - the interlocutor noted.
Inesa: “I saw a woman on the ground, people shouted that she felt bad”
Inesa went to the fireworks with her child. Literally from the first minutes, according to her, it became clear: something did not go according to the plan.
- First one explosion thundered, after another. After a couple of seconds, people in 10 meters began to shout and scatter in different directions, - she noted. - I saw a woman on the ground, people shouted that she was feeling bad. I am a doctor, at first I thought that she had an epilepsy attack, came closer, and saw that the situation was critical. There was blood all around, the woman’s daughter was hysterical, trying to press the wound on her neck. Immediately, a boat with a lifeguard swam up, he did a great job as he remained calm and started to pinch the wound instead of the victim’s daughter.
I immediately started calling the ambulance, explained what had happened and where we were. There was heavy bleeding, they tried to clamp the wound with a jacket, but nothing helped. Then I saw the fragment that hurt her. Very large, about the size of a palm without fingers. The ambulance arrived quickly enough, they started rendering first aid. I was with a small child, so I left, did not bother them. Moreover, I understood that it was hardly possible to help that woman. I really wanted to believe that I was wrong.
Inesa says that she did not see more victims around herself:
- Of course, at first, I was alerted, like any normal person - screams, people running around. Then when I saw that there was no mass danger, I noticed a woman, I gave my son to a friend and ran to help. I turned off my emotions, there was only one question in my head: “How can I help as much as possible?” And the algorithm of actions. Because the situation was critical. Probably, due to the profession, in which one periodically encounter death, one knows how to abstract. This is such an immense grief, such a tragedy on a festive day. I feel so sorry for the daughter of the deceased, she was crying so heavily. May God grant her strength to survive all this.
Mikalai: “I felt a blow to my shoulder, as if a kid threw a stone with all his might”
Mikalai and his wife were on the bridge. He says that at first the salute went as usual. Then the explosions thundered.
“Earlier during salutes, I noticed that charges sometimes flew very low and there were explosions near the ground, but this time everything was beyond what I had seen before,” he assures. “Even before the first explosion, some scraps began to fly onto the road, it was visible how small parts were falling. They flew into the people’s eyes. They flew into my eyes just like dust or sand. Then I felt a blow to my shoulder, like a kid would throw a stone with all his might. I look at the ground and understood that there was a white object, the size of a matchbox. I thought it was paper, cardboard from a shell. This thing was plastic though. I looked around and realized that there were bigger pieces lying around. Then the explosion thundered.
After the second explosion, Mikalai and his wife decided to leave. He says that some boys were walking in front of them, and showed more red coals from the salute, lying on the ground.
- I heard that someone was hit with the fragments, too, but I understood that this was the story like mine. I mean, I didn’t hear someone’s eye was knocked out or something, - the interlocutor says.
- Scared? .. Yes. How much? Average. There was surely no panic, but the people started quietly leaving after the first explosion. The movement just started, but not so much to attract attention and make you go, too. But in general it was clear that the explosion forced the people to leave the salute and go away. There was not enough people for a crush. Nobody shouted during the explosions, I heard only some huffs and nothing more, - added Mikalai.