1664699422 The unanswered mobile phone of corpse number 13 of the

The unanswered mobile phone of corpse number 13 of the Zaporizhia massacre

The phone rings. One more time… until it breaks. The owner, dressed in a black jacket and trousers, remains lying on the right-hand side in the center seat of a van. Several traces of blood run down his face and hand. It is one of 30 bodies left in the rocket attack that took place at 7:15 am this Friday in Zaporizhia, a city in southern Ukraine. Kyiv points to Moscow. From there, they claim the opposite. The fact is that all the dead, as well as the 88 wounded, are civilians. And the attack happened at a well-known meeting place for caravans loaded with Ukrainian citizens fleeing the Russian-occupied zone.

The phone that rings unanswered is the dead man’s number 13. He wrote this number behind his left ear, the most accessible to those who came shortly after the attack to tend to the fifty wounded and avert the deaths of those who died certify those who killed them do not survive. And number them in the marker. Two other bodies are in the same van, surrounded by some of their personal belongings and water bottles. Traces of glass, small stones and dust can be found everywhere in the passenger compartment. The body is pierced by the impact of the splinters.

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This also applies to the other vehicles, some with smashed doors and hoods. Many tires, flat. A few meters away, a large sinkhole caused by the rocket, which according to Kyiv came from the Russian side. A woman died in the passenger seat with her bag on her lap. Another body in the back seat remains next to the dog that accompanied them and also lost its life. A little further on, a driver in his 60’s stays on the steering wheel with his left hand.

Others were caught in the blast outside their vehicles. And there they stayed. Some are scattered around the place. Others next to their vehicles. Two middle-aged women lie side by side. One face to the sky, the other with his right chin on the pavement. His cell phone next to his face. A slightly older man is left slumped in blood next to the underside of his car. Two police officers approach him who, after lifting the plastic tape marking the border of horror, let a couple pass. The woman identifies him between screams and tears. The dramas begin to spin and confirm.

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A few meters away another body lies next to a large trail of blood and luggage on a cart and a black bag. When they uncover it to put it in the black plastic case, you can see that it’s a woman of a certain age. They take a wad of money out of their clothes. A woman in uniform photographs the money before putting it in the deceased’s pocket.

Two bodies next to a dead dog in a vehicle in Zapiriyia.Two bodies next to a dead dog in a vehicle in Zapiriyia Luis de Vega

Relatives and close friends arrive within dozens of meters of the scene devastated by the explosion. A man who was at the scene from the start and gave a statement at the same crime scene clears belongings from what appears to be his car. A girl in a gray tracksuit sees him in the distance and moves quickly until they hug. He lost his wife. You, your mother. Together they approach the bag in which the woman is already lying, next to an ambulance.

Taking statements from witnesses and relatives is improvised by seeking some privacy behind a stall that occupied a grocery store. There are remains of blood along with some scattered bills and coins. Milk rolls, treats, drinks and mayhem. The table and two chairs for clients is the office where agents ask questions, listen, and take notes.

Officials from the scientific police and the prosecutor’s office investigating war crimes are roaming around. The coroners are also busy examining each of the bodies. Next to some wooden tables, the soldiers place each piece of rocket they find. There are dozens of gray metal pieces of different shapes and sizes.

Three shells fell in the area, which served as a car market before the war, according to military sources. The one that hit the closest made a huge crater several meters into the asphalt. About thirty vehicles were waiting to start the march. EL PAÍS visited the same location on Thursday and confirmed that it was not a military facility. It is an esplanade on which many families come and go in Zaporizhia, an important city that hosts large numbers of people fleeing Russian-held territory and from where, authorities say, caravans sometimes leave to bring help to this occupied territory.

A few hours later, a group of employees remove the body of number 13. They put them next to the van, examine them briefly and put them in a black plastic bag. Eventually he is lined up on the ground next to other dead bodies. At this time, the alarm of a possible further Russian attack or the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses no longer echoed in the sky. The sky is cloudy. It thunders and it rains. Several dogs prowl the scene of the tragedy while sticking their snouts in the pools of blood that are diluting the water.

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