Security Lapses Blamed For Russian Airport Blast Russia is picking up the pieces after an attack at its busiest airport Monday. At least 35 people are dead, after what authorities believe was a suicide bombing in the arrivals area at Domodedovo Airport outside Moscow.
NPR logo

Security Lapses Blamed For Russian Airport Blast

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133201550/133201743" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Security Lapses Blamed For Russian Airport Blast

Security Lapses Blamed For Russian Airport Blast

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133201550/133201743" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

NPR's Moscow correspondent David Greene is covering the aftermath.

DAVID GREENE: The bomb erupted in a part of the airport that people know well. It's that spot where you gather to meet passengers. You scan the crowd emerging from customs, and you run to embrace your friends or loved ones as soon as you spot them.

J: people screaming, victims being loaded onto baggage carts.

M: Some of them were really badly injured. Everything was bloody - their head, their legs - and some of them were laying. They took two trolleys and were laying over the trolleys. And I think one of them was dead.

GREENE: It was surprising, though, how quickly life returned to normal - or at least, tried to. After reporting yesterday, my colleague and I searched for a cab driver to take us home, and we found 44-year-old Sergei Komarov. Turns out just hours earlier, he had been standing in the arrivals hall, waiting for a fare, when the bomb went off, spraying chunks of metal and shrapnel in all directions. Somehow, Sergei was spared - not the people around him.

M: (Through translator) One man, he fell down. His leg was torn off. He was crawling along, pulling himself by his hands. He was groaning and went on crawling, without a leg. And there were all these pieces of flesh. This is the first time I have ever seen this. I am in shock. I still can't get myself together.

GREENE: I asked Sergei why, after taking in such a grim scene, he was already back to work.

M: (Foreign language spoken)

GREENE: President Dmitri Medvedev was planning to head to Switzerland yesterday to brag about his country's economic potential while attending the World Economic Forum. Instead, Medvedev canceled and went on TV to talk about the bombing.

INSKEEP: (Through translator) After previous and similar events, we passed appropriate legislation, and we have to check how it has been applied because obviously, there have been lapses. And we must get to the bottom of this.

GREENE: In past attacks here, militants from the North Caucasus have been responsible. That's the volatile region of southern Russia where an Islamist insurgency is raging.

(SOUNDBITE OF DEMONSTRATION)

GREENE: And in the wake of any incident like this, there is the fear of retaliation against people of Caucasian descent. They often have darker complexions and face routine discrimination in Russia. Ethnic tensions were already high last month, when nationalists staged a series of riots in central Moscow, chanting slurs against Caucasians and yelling out: Russia is for Russians.

U: Russiya dla Russky.

(SOUNDBITE OF DEMONSTRATION)

GREENE: David Greene, NPR News, Moscow.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.