Yak-42 crashed after two explosions - eyewitnesses

The eyewitnesses, who saw the crash of the Yak-42 passenger jet in Yaroslavl, shared their stories with reporters.

One of them told RIA Novosti news agency that the jet fell during takeoff after two explosions. There was a strong fire on the ground after the crash. Local residents were trying to help the fishermen who had been deafened with the blast wave.

"I saw the plane taking off and tilting on the left side. The next moment, the plane crashed on the ground from the height of not more than 100 meters. It did not hit anything, but there were two explosions. I think it was the engines," an eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous said.

The man said that he was watching the tragedy unfolding in front of his very eyes from the distance of some 400 meters.

"Do you know what a full fuel tank is when it comes to aircraft? Everything exploded there, of course. Everything was on fire - the trees, the bushes - everything," the man said.

In pictures: Russian ice hockey team killed in air crash

"I came there in three minutes. It was a horrifying scene, of course. A part of the plane was in the river, I couldn't get whether it was the front or the rear of the plane. We were helping the fishermen on the river - they were too close to the place of the crash," the eyewitness said.

"I remember rescuers were pulling four men in white t-shirts out from the water. Those were the guys from our team, Lokomotiv. I've always been their fan. It was a nightmare," the man added.

Another eyewitness said that local residents were the first to come for help. "They came on their boats, they started to dive and pull the people out. Rescue services arrived in ten minutes," an eyewitness said.

According to the man, he did not see the plane slamming into the ground, but he heard something that sounded like a collision of two cars.

Another eyewitness, a woman, told a local newspaper, that she had seen one survivor on the crash site. The man was conscious and he was communicating with the rescuers.

"We were standing there on the field. There were a lot of people around. I am so sorry for those boys. I saw one survivor. Some of the rescuers asked him how many people there were on board. He said he didn't know," the woman said.

Two people survived the crash - flight attendant Alexander Sizov and hockey player Alexander Galimov. Sizov suffered fractures of the right leg, a scalp laceration and burns on the face. The man was pulled out from the water. He was conscious but shocked, so he could not say anything. Hockey player Galimov suffered numerous injuries and serious burns of over 80% of his body. He was operated on, but his condition remains critical.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov