Город в панике means “city in a panic” and as one fellow journalist remarked, Volgograd is returning to Stalingrad. It is as if the city is back in a war zone, on the front lines between radicals and civilization. He may be on to something as another bomb blast, the second in two days, ripped apart a crowded trolleybus on busy route N15A early Monday morning as commuters were going to work. The bus was in the Dzerzhinsky district opposite the busy Kaczynski market when the blast went off around 8:23 am.
There have been conflicting reports about the type of bomb. At first emergency workers said that body parts from a suicide bomber may have been discovered in the wreckage however officials now believe that the device was planted in the middle of the bus for greatest effect and detonated remotely. The blast shook nearby buildings and shattered windows along the street.
One eyewitness today reporters that the blast began with a loud band, followed by a flash of fire and soon the entire area was in smoke. Nearby shoppers at the market at first did not understand what had happened until the smoke gave way to the mangled trolley and bodies strewn everywhere. The driver of the bus was a new employee in training and survived although the driver was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
As news spread many riders got out of buses and trolleys and walked to work in fear of further explosions. In Moscow, President Putin met with FSB head Alexander Bortnikov and then dispatched Bortnikov along with fresh teams of medical specialists to Volgograd.
Officials and health workers are asking residents to donate blood. If you can assist, dial +7 (902) 656-02-22.
Today the question on everyone’s lips is Что будет завтра? (What will happen tomorrow?)