Straight after the plane crashed ‘I realized I had to do something’ — eyewitness

f67frescuers emergency scene ministry Straight after the plane crashed ‘I realized I had to do something’ — eyewitness

Amid the shocking sight of an ablaze plane wreckage, Evgeniy Zambitsky was one of only few people who reached the TU-204 jet within minutes of Saturday’s crash. He’s spoken to RT about what he saw as he bravely searched the area for survivors.

In the first thirty minutes after the plane crashed, only   eyewitnesses were there to help the victims of the tragedy. As parts of   the jet had hit the road, ambulance and rescue teams had to break   through terrible traffic jams. With no help in sight, a small group of   men went into the burning plane and tried to save an injured flight   attendant.­

RT: In the midst of this tragedy you were trying to help one of the injured. Tell us what were you trying to do?

Evgeniy Zambitsky:   Well, we found her [the flight attendant], she was in the back of the   plane, in the main, in the fuselage part of it. And so we took her –   there were four of us. It was slippery and we tried to take her to the   road, to the highway. Her legs were broken, and there was blood all over   her face, there was blood dripping from her mouth and her eyes- our   eyes were itching because of the jet fuel. She was in bad condition but   she was conscious, so she spoke to us.

RT: And how shocked were you by what was going on?

EZ:   All of us, all of the eyewitnesses [had] a rush of adrenaline, our   hands were shaky, we were in a state of shock like anyone would be.

RT:   We can see the shocking pictures that you managed to take of this  girl.  How badly hurt was she, do you think, did she say anything at  all?

EZ:  Yes, she talked to us, she said  that her eyes hurt, she told us to put  her down, she said my legs hurt.  But both of her legs were broken, and I  think she could not feel her  legs and her words were not articulated.

RT: And what were you trying to do, where were you trying to take her?

EZ:   We tried to take her onto the highway, we thought that there were some   ambulances on the sides. We wanted to hand her over to the paramedics,   but there were none of them, no ambulance crews. That’s why we were   holding her in our arms. There was a police car there, but we couldn’t   fit her inside.

­TU-204 crash eyewitness Evgeniy Zambitsky shared his dramatic experience with RT.
trans Straight after the plane crashed ‘I realized I had to do something’ — eyewitness

RT: And we see these pictures  of other  people around at the  time. Do you know who those people were,  were  they passersby or airport  staff?

EZ:  From  what we can see these were eyewitnesses, there  were four or five   people. But the rest were afraid to come up to us  because the engine   was still on fire, and fire rescue teams could not  put out the fire for   25 minutes, so only four or five people were brave  enough to approach   the plane. Of course, there was a high risk of  explosion, we were   afraid of that, but we stayed there.

RT: You    talk about the plane, and there was high risk of explosion. Did you  try   to go into the plane and try and find other survivors yourself?

EZ:    Yes, I went down from the highway to the field where the plane was as    there was no one else around, and I met the first flight attendant.  She   was on her feet and she asked me to find her friend, the other  flight   attendant. And I saw that the engine was on fire and there was a  risk  of  explosion, we were waiting for it to explode, that’s why it  was  quite  horrifying. Despite that I climbed up the plane and I saw  that  blood was  on the seat, and that’s why I decided there was a  person  somewhere  around. The first flight attendant Christina asked me  to find  the second  flight attendant, and that was the girl that we  found.

RT: And were you not fearful for your own safety?

EZ:    Well, of course I was… But I was alone and nobody dared to approach   me.  And I had to, well, throw caution to the wind. Of course that was    horrifying, but I did that.

RT: And did you see many other injured people around as well?

EZ:    Yes, the first thing I saw was the woman, the flight attendant, there    was blood all over her face, and her face was mangled. That was the    first flight attendant Christina. Then, the second flight attendant,    then we found a third man, he had problems with his back. We put him on    the road, and put the blankets over him. The fourth man we found was    unfortunately dead. Then we saw two pilots all covered in blood, but we    couldn’t get to them, we only saw two pools of blood. We only found   four  people, the rest were found by the rescue crew, who had to use   special  equipment to get inside the cockpit.

emergency ministry rescuers work Straight after the plane crashed ‘I realized I had to do something’ — eyewitness Emergency Ministry rescuers remove the cockpit where some of the plane’s crew members were barred. (RIA Novosti / Iliya Pitalev)

RT:   Very tragically, we do  believe that this girl that you were trying to   help has died. You  mentioned the emergency services were there. How   quickly did they arrive  and what were they able to do as far as you can   tell?

EZ: Rescue  crews, well, it took  them  about three to five minutes, and when the fire  rescue teams  arrived  they started to put out the fire. They focused on  the fire, on  the  engine, but they did not have any special equipment to  break into  the  cockpit. But there were no ambulances for about 25  minutes,  because of  the traffic jam they couldn’t get through, and there  was no  helicopter.  There were only fire rescue teams.

RT: And how have you been feeling since you saw all that, which was obviously a very shocking scene?

EZ:    Well, first I was shocked, of course, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Then  I  got back to my senses and realized I had to do something.  Someone   backed down, they tried to get back, they were afraid. But I  ran to the   site of the crash. I don’t know why.

flowers brought crash site Straight after the plane crashed ‘I realized I had to do something’ — eyewitness
Flowers brought at the crash site of Red Wings Airlines’ Tu-204 plane at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. (RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Belousov)


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Straight after the plane crashed ‘I realized I had to do something’ — eyewitness

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