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In Ukraine, sudden death on a train platform


At one point they were crowded onto the Kramatorsk station platform, hundreds of them, heeding pleas from Ukrainian officials to flee in the face of a feared Russian attack. The next moment, death was raining from the air.

At least 50 people were killed and scores more injured in a rocket assault on Friday morning that turned the Kramatorsk platform into another atrocity in the six-week war. Ukraine blamed Russia, which denied any responsibility.

Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine has been a main jumping-off point for thousands of people trying to get to safer points in the west this week. Crowds were seen gathering at the station on Tuesday.

The number of rockets hit was not immediately clear. But several parked cars were also hit, catching fire and turning into charred carcasses.

The waiting area turned into a killing area, with bodies and personal effects strewn about. “There are only children!” a woman cried.

Ukrainian officials had warned for days that Russian forces, after retreating from the north, were regrouping for a major push east. Ukraine’s rail service said after the Kramatorsk attack that evacuations would continue from nearby Sloviansk.

Ukrainian soldiers helped to extricate the bodies from the station platform.

Ukrainian police inspected the remains of a large rocket with the words “for our children” in Russian next to the train station. Russia accused Ukrainian forces of undertaking the attack as an anti-Russian provocation.

Shock and grief after the attack.

An untreated victim on the platform.

Ny

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