SOT, Evgenii Fokin, Father of rescued baby (Russian): “I don’t know, I was working. If I was sleeping in another room and it collapsed, I would have been trapped. They were lucky that there was an arch and no wall, and they just fell out of the room [into a gap]. I would have tumbled into the store. And that’s all. I would have died for sure. But who I am to judge.»
SOT, Olga Fokina, Mother of... Еще rescued baby (Russian): “We all were sleeping in the same room. My elder son and I fell through. And he was left alone in his cot. My elder son and I escaped and the youngest was left.”
Reporter: “Did you hear him crying?”
Olga Fokina: “No, nothing.”
Reporter: “Did the rescue workers give you any chance that he was alive? Did they search for him actively?”
Evgenii Fokin: “I showed them where to search. Yesterday they didn’t let us go there. I came there in a uniform and they took me for one of their own. I walked there easily.”
Olga Fokina: “They were looking [for him] from the side of the entrances, but he was on the street side, on the Marks [street] side, the other side.”
Evgenii Fokin: “Today I showed them. It was necessary just to make up a space to remove him. The concrete partitions could have fallen again, and there could have been another collapse.”
Olga Fokina: “They just didn’t go to that side.”
Reporter: “What do the doctors say about his condition?”
Evgenii Fokin: “I don’t know. They still haven’t said anything. We are waiting.”
Olga Fokina: “They are still examining him. They will come downstairs and tell us.”
Reporter: “They say he is called Vania, is that right?”
Evgenii Fokin: “Yes, he’s called Vania.”
Evgenii Fokin and Olga Fokina, parents of the baby rescued from the rubble of the collapsed Magnitogorsk tower block, recounted on Tuesday how they helped rescue workers find their son.
“I showed them where to search. Yesterday they didn’t let us go there. I came there in a uniform [today] and they took me for one of their own. I walked there easily,” Fokin said.
Fokina explained that the rescue workers “were looking [for him] from the side of the entrances, but he was on the street side, on the Marks [street] side, the other side.”
“It was necessary just to make up a space to remove him. The concrete partitions could have fallen again, and there could have been another collapse,” the baby’s father said. Fokin also confirmed that his baby is called Ivan.
Earlier on Tuesday, EMERCOM announced a 10-month old baby had miraculously survived around 36 hours under the rubble. Having previously announced a halt to the rescue operation owing to the risk of the building collapsing further, rescuers leapt into action again after hearing cries from the debris.
Ivan survived because he was wrapped up warm in his cot when the building collapsed. The emergency services also employed hot air blowers to stave off the cold. He is now in a local hospital where he is believed to be in a serious, but not life-threatening, condition.
A doctor at the hospital said that Ivan is suffering from crush syndrome, hypothermia, frostbite, a fracture and bruising. He is expected to be flown to the Moscow Paediatric Surgery and Traumatology Centre for treatment.
At about 0600 on Monday, an entire section of a 10-storey tower block in Magnitogorsk collapsed, causing dozens to be trapped under debris. According to EMERCOM, nine people have been confirmed dead, while another eight have been rescued from underneath the rubble. Some 36 people remain missing.