Explosion in Almaty college kills one, injures 12
The explosion occurred on the second floor of the College of Fashion and Design on Rayimbek Avenue at around 8:40 a.m. during a basic military training class.
A female student was killed and 12 other students were injured. According to the Department of Health, the teacher was not among the injured. According to some of the college students and unconfirmed reports, the teacher was not in class when the explosion happened. Almaty Channel reported that he was taken away for questioning by the police.
Svetlana Yakovleva who died in the explosion was 16 years old, her brother Aleksey told a Tengrinews reporter. She was a kind and goal-orented person, and a straight A student, he said. "She liked to study. My sister was a cheerful and kind person, and had big plans for the future," Svatlana's brother said.
He said that the basic military training teacher was new to teaching - he had been teaching in the college since the beginning of the academic year, but had never taught in any other school before.
One of the students of the college confirmed that the grenade explosion happened during the second morning class and all the students were evacuated immediately after. Students also said that the basic military training teacher had started working at the college just recently.
One of the witnesses said: "The teacher wasn't there at that moment, he walked out. Sveta, that girl, died on the spot, two of my best friends are in intensive care in grave condition. One of them got a perforating shrapnel wound in the head. That girl (Svetlana) didn't do it. She was just holding the grenade in her hand when a guy sitting next to her yanked the pin out. How could a real grenade possibly have gotten into class?!"
Another student said: "I was in a classroom next doors. I walked out of my classroom because it was a break and then the explosion suddenly came. A girl ran out of that classroom screaming and fell onto the floor fight in front of me. Two girls that were walking past that classroom also got injured. One had blood on her arm. It was horrible."
The area has been cordoned off by the police, all the classes have been cancelled and students evacuated.
Almaty Akim (mayor) Akhmetzhan Yessimov visited the site. He instructed the city authorities to provide financial aid to the family of the girl killed in the explosion and all the other student who sustained injuries in the tragic accident.
His deputy Yuri Ilyin said that the Mayor extended his condolences to the relatives of the deceased girl. The Mayor ordered to establish a special commission to investigate the incident.
Prosecutor’s Office, Military Prosecutor’s Office and the Department of Internal Affairs will all be involved in the investigation. In particular, it will be up to the commission to find out why a real grenade was being used in class instead of a training model.
Ilyin said that the deceased girl died on the spot. 12 students all aged 16-17 were taken to a hospital with shrapnel wounds of varying severity. Three of them were in grave condition and required urgent surgeries. The rest were stable.
Most of the students got head and chest wounds and blast injuries. According to the latest information five of them have already had surgeries. All five are in intensive care in grave condition.
"12 people were delivered to our hospital, presumably all of them are students of the college. They have shrapnel chests and head wounds and contusions. Five of them have had abdominal operations. They are in intensive care, their condition remains grave. Seven others have received medical treatment. The students have a bad shock, physiologists are talking to them. No teachers were among these delivered to the emergency hospital," the chief of the Emergency Hospital Marat Seidumaniv said.
Later the doctors specified that 11 injured teenager were students of the college and one girl was not a student, she came to visit someone at the college.
According to the doctors, Y.Y. Karpacheva was delivered with multiple penetrating shrapnel wounds in the abdominal region and raptured spleen, M.A. Arman had penetrating chest wounds, M.P. Yaroshenko had an open craniocerebral injury, brain contusion, left eye injury and fracture of the left forearm. M.R. Adilbek had a closed craniocerebral injury and hydrothorax in the right side of the chest. M.A. Myakinskiy had a closed craniocerebral injury, multiple non-penetrating shrapnel wounds in the back, I.T. Isamedinov had an open craniocerebral injury, L.R. Khamladzhe had a closed craniocerebral injury and brain concussion. A.R. Dzhakupbayev had a closed craniocerebral injury, multiple penetrating shrapnel wounds of the body, D.A. Schepeneva had multiple shrapnel wounds of both hands. N.N. Eskandir was delivered with multiple non-penetrating shrapnel wounds of the body, M.H. Aminov had closed craniocerebral injury and brain concussion.
The Prosecutor’s Office initiated criminal cases under the articles "Causing death by negligence" and "Illegal Purchase, Transfer, Sale, Storage, Transportation, or the Carrying of Weapons, Ammunition, Explosives, or Explosion Devices."
Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina (Vladimir Prokopenko contributed to the story)