All of Europe sympathised with Russia in connection with the events at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow…
European politicians described the incident as a cowardly and barbaric act of terrorism and invited that the Russian authorities to ask for assistance from their countries in the investigation of the explosion, if necessary. One of the first react to the attack was Britain, whose nationals were amongst those killed and injured. British Prime Minister David Cameron personally rang up President Medvedev and assured him that the British people stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Russia in the face of such a tragedy. A little while before the explosion at Domodedovo, two flights from the UK landed almost simultaneously… the first was a British Airways airliner that arrived about 40 minutes before the explosion, with 165 passengers on board. The second flight was from budget British airline BMI, carrying 97 people from London. Passengers from these aircraft went into the airport terminal literally minutes before the explosion. Both planes carried dozens of Brits and Russians. The explosion occurred when they passed through passport control and the luggage carousel.
BBC interviewed one of the passengers, an Englishman, Mark Green, who came in on the British Airways flight, who said, “I was among the first to pick up my suitcase on the luggage carousel, and I had even managed to leave the building when I heard a very loud explosion. Snow fell off the roof of the airport like an avalanche, and, 30 seconds later, bloodied people began to run out of the building in shock”, Mr Greene said. He then said that he gave his water bottle to a man, who used the water to wash blood and black soot from his face. A British businessman named Jeremy was in the queue at passport control as the explosion occurred. “When the explosion went off, it shook the ceiling, and all kinds of dirt and dust came down, and there was smoke in the front of the room near the luggage carousel. There was dust all over the place. I thought, at first, ‘I’ve got to take off my specs and wipe them off’… but then I remembered… ‘I don’t wear specs’”, the Englishman said.
Even before it became known that British nationals were amongst the victims of the terrorist attack, Prime Minister David Cameron rang up President Medvedev and offered his condolences to the families of those killed and injured in this terrible terrorist attack. “The British people stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Russia in the face of such a tragedy. We must never allow the terrorists to win”, Mr Cameron said. He assured Dmitri Anatolyevich that Britain was ready to provide full support for the investigation of the attack. “The Russian authorities may apply to us for any assistance that they need in the investigation”, the British prime minister promised. A statement from British Foreign Minister William Hague backed up Mr Cameron’s words, reporting that, immediately after the news of the explosion, staffers from the British Embassy went to Domodedovo to provide consular assistance to Britons, and that British diplomats were in constant and close contact with the Russian government. The news of the murderous terrorist strike in Domodedovo deeply shocked Mr Hague. English-speaking bloggers aired similar sentiments. “Russians, please accept our condolences. Today, the world mourns with you”, “gondorplace” wrote on the website of the newspaper The Independent. On the same site, from “originaleskimo”, “No one, regardless of religion or belief, has a right to take a human life”.
Chris Yates, a British expert on aviation security, meeting with his Russian colleagues, said, “The explosion was the handiwork of a suicide bomber, it was an infernal contraption filled with iron bolts, they scattered throughout the arrivals hall”. One of his colleagues, Philip Baum, an expert on security for air transportation, believed that a terrorist attack at an airport in the area near the luggage carousel was inevitable; most airport security forces don’t really expect bombs in this area. “We give so much attention to body searches of passengers and inspection of their luggage before they board their flight that the remaining space at the airport is becoming less secure”. The same thing that happened at Domodedovo could happen in any other airport in the world, according to internet users who expressed their opinions on British newspaper websites. “The arrivals hall is always poorly protected. It’s full of racks and there’s the check-in stands. Anyone can join a queue of passengers in order to set off an explosion. I’ll predict that, soon, all of us will be checked when we enter the airport and we’ll be asked to go through a metal detector”, according to “Mitchell_n_beard” on the website of the newspaper The Independent.
25 January 2011
Voice of Russia World Service