Survivors leaving basement of Mariupol theatre after airstrike, say officials

Number of casualties unclear after strike on building where hundreds of people were hiding in basement

By Lorenzo Tondo

Survivors have begun to emerge from the basement of a theatre hit by a Russian airstrike in the besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, officials have said.

Hundreds of people were hiding beneath the theatre, which was designated as a shelter for displaced civilians, including children and elderly people, when it was struck on Wednesday.

Rescuers worked on Thursday to clear rubble that had blocked the entrance to the basement, which officials said had stood firm.

The building withstood the impact of a high-powered air bomb and protected the lives of people hiding in the bomb shelter,” Ukraine’s ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova said on the Telegram messaging app. She and the Ukrainian parliament member Serhiy Taruta said some survivors had emerged. “People are coming out alive,” Taruta wrote on Facebook, though he did not say how many.

Source: The Guardian