Survivors reported in bombed Mariupol theater sheltering civilians
Odesa, Ukraine, Mar 17 (EFE).- Civilians taking shelter in a theater in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol that was bombed by Russia have survived, Ukrainian MP Serhiy Taruta said Thursday.
“After a terrible night of uncertainty, on the morning of the 22nd day of the war, finally, good news from Mariupol,” the Batkivshchyna party MP said.
“The air-raid shelter held out. The rubble began to be dismantled, people are coming out alive,” Taruta added.
The MP also said the heavy shelling in the city has prevented emergency and relief services from accessing the ruins of the theater.
Ukrainian MP Dmytro Gurin, whose parents are trapped in the besieged city, confirmed to the BBC that the bomb shelter had survived.
“A few minutes ago we have received information that the bomb shelter has survived and that the people who were there have survived,” he said.
But he said it was unclear “whether there are wounded, or dead” but that for now “it seems that most (of the people sheltering there) have survived and are fine.”
Russian troops on Wednesday shelled the theater that had served as a shelter for hundreds of people living in the city on the Sea of Azov.
The Ukrainian Rada (parliament) said many civilians were hiding in the theater, which has been reduced to rubble.
Serhiy Orlov, deputy mayor of Mariupol, said Wednesday that between 1,000 and 1,200 people were usually sheltering from shelling in the compound.
Mariupol, in the pro-Russian region of Donetsk, has been under siege by Russian troops since the invasion of the country began on February 24.
Authorities say the city is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, as it is running out of water, medicine and basic foodstuffs, as well as gas and electricity. EFE