At least 35 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in an explosion at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport this morning triggered by a suspected suicide bomber.
At 4:32pm local time a man set off an explosive device in Domodedovo’s crowded international arrivals zone. The bombing was quickly labelled a terrorist attack but so far nobody has claimed responsibility.
Chilling first-hand accounts have emerged from survivors, like those published in this story from the AFP.
“Burned people are running about … they are carrying pieces of flesh on stretchers,” said one.
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“There was an old man who had a bone sticking out of his leg. There were cleaners mopping the blood after each one of them,” said another.
News footage of people being taken out of the airport on stretchers is equally gruesome viewing…
World leaders were quick to condemn the attack. Barack Obama reportedly telephoned Russian President Dimitry Medvedev and vowed to co-operate with Russian to find those responsible.
Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith told the ABC this morning:
“We condemn absolutely this terrible act of extremism and of violence…We are, of course, primarily concerned about any adverse consequences for Australians.”
The bomb blast has predictably raised questions about airport security. Crikey aviation reporter Ben Sandilands wrote this morning:
There are several terrible realities to keep in mind as reports of the bombing atrocity at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport confront travellers this morning.
1. Nothing is certain to prevent such attacks on public places, including railway stations, buses, pubs, rock concerts and sporting events, and
2. Commonsense situational awareness is of tremendous value in our own lives, while intelligence leading to the interception of terrorists before they attack is incredibly important, and has proved a life saver in this country.
Knee jerk populist ravings about the need to invest a large fraction of GNP in more nude scanners, or put require more proof of identity at airports don’t deserve oxygen.
But there are several things that are of critical value to keep in mind, and put into personal practice.
According to a report from CNN, airport experts around the world say the incident will lead to an increase in airport security.
“Arrivals has always been thought of as the ‘soft’ area of an airport,” explained CNN’s Richard Quest.
“Nobody is flying anywhere, the baggage has all been screened, because it has been on planes already, and crucially, people are leaving the airport. It’s very rare that you ever saw somebody carrying a bag in to arrivals.”
Russian investigators are currently studying CCTV footage, and there are allegations authorities were tipped off about the attack beforehand.
Domodedovo said via Twitter:
“We mourn the victims of the terrorist attack. The organisers will be tracked down and punished.”