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Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 21:50 GMT 22:50 UK
Ukraine crash survivors speak of horror
Medics tend a wounded victim
Many victims did not stand a chance of escaping
Spectators at the air show in Lviv have spoken of their horror at seeing a fighter jet crash into crowds of onlookers, killing dozens of people.

Eyewitnesses said the plane - a Sukhoi Su-30 - clipped trees before spinning out of control.


There were fragments of people lying by the plane

Roman Andreiko
"It flew lower, touched the trees and I understood that this was the end," said a woman at the Sknyliv air base.

"It went on crashing into the field... I fell down with my child. All the people were crying, we had to run for our lives," she said.

There was pandemonium as the jet cart-wheeled across the airfield towards spectators.

"This aircraft was approaching, then there were flames, the explosion, metal parts flying," said a man from his hospital bed.

"There was fire, a lot of people crying, shouting," he said.

'Cut down like grass'

About 1,500 people who were watching the display fled in panic, but many had no chance of escape.

Injured spectator
Spectators were hit by flying debris

"There weren't any survivors among those who fell down late - they were cut down like grass," said 18-year-old Bohdan Hupalo.

"I will never forget this tragedy," he said.

Many of the victims were hit by flying debris.

"There were fragments of people lying by the plane," said television executive Roman Andreiko, who hid with his family behind a truck.

"There were clouds of smoke. People were in shock," he said.

Carnage

Bodies, casualties and wreckage lay scattered around the air base, as dazed survivors stumbled from the scene.


If we hadn't [run], we'd be among the dead now

Spectator
"We started to run when we saw the plane falling," said one spectator clutching his nine-year-old daughter.

"If we hadn't, we'd be among the dead now," he said.

Dozens of emergency workers tended to the wounded, including members of their own families.

Yaroslav Vaida, a rescue service employee, lost his 24-year-old son in the accident and was badly injured himself.

"I don't want to live, I have no sense to live," he said, speaking from hospital. "I can hardly speak, but have to say this."

See also:

27 Jul 02 | Europe
27 Jul 02 | Europe
21 Jul 02 | Country profiles
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