Unknown facts about the most tragic plane crash in the country's history: the fall of the aircraft at a kindergarten
Much of the text, a few photos. Ends say.
Childhood, crushed air
May 16, 1972 in broad daylight on a kindergarten in the city of Svetlogorsk, the plane fell. Caregivers who dined at this point, has not stood up from the table, children are not returned to their toys. In the nightmare of killing 35 people.
About Svetlogorsk tragedy many years silent all, including those who have lost loved ones. Until now, even in encyclopedias an invalid number of deaths, and it is believed that the blame for all the pilots were killed, blood allegedly found that alcohol.
"MK" has found witnesses and victims of the tragedy, who spoke after forty years of silence.
Photos of the lost group of kindergarten. Right - the teacher Valentina Shabashova-Blizzard (died), left - Head Galina Klyuhina (that day she was not at work). Photo from personal archive
... On Svetlogorsk cemetery near the mass grave where the victims buried this terrible tragedy, two women fuss.
- I have a brother here, - says one. - Were burned alive. You're from Moscow? Tell me, why has our tragedy or do not write at all, or write nonsense? Here I read once that, they say, after the accident in the city was a mass suicide. What parents kill themselves, unable to bear the pain of loss. Once I read that many drank themselves afterwards. It is not true! In fact, many have decided to give birth to infants and called the names of the dead children.
Women and the priest of the local church to give us "addresses, passwords, secret". Somehow sure: Now all the victims and witnesses tell how it was actually.
So, on May 16 in Svetlogorsk it was clear and windless. Around noon on the horizon appeared the aircraft AN-24 263rd Air Transport Aviation Regiment of the Baltic Fleet of the USSR. Skirted Stadium, narrowly missing a Ferris wheel in the park, and her left top of the tall plane felled birch. One of the first saw him a few vacationers who find themselves in the day in the park, and students who came to an end at the city stadium gym class.
- We were returning to their school on a forest path, which went past the kindergarten - recalls a former student of a school Nikolai Alekseev. - Seeing falling on our heads plane we were struck dumb with horror, someone tried to escape. "Stop!" - Shouted us our teacher. Standing stock-still, we froze. We stood and watched as the machine of uncontrollable, we eagerly doused its turbines and losing altitude, swept over our heads.
The first random victims that day became high school student schoolgirl Tanya and Natasha Tsygankova Yezhov. The girls came to the kindergarten, suddenly ...
- Before the kindergarten was only a few meters away, as we were engulfed in burning jet fuel vapors, - says Tatiana Yezhov, whom we met at the scene. - We do not even have time to understand anything, in one moment on we broke out the hair, clothes, shoes. We were in a strong shock from fear and unbearable pain. Around a soul, and we are alone in the street in flames ...
But the plane continued to rush to the kindergarten, hidden in massive spruce. Kindergarten considered departmental (the sanatorium "Svetlogorsk"), and it was, as usual, the best of everything: the conditions of stay of children to staff salaries. Official position of parents justifies the status of this institution: the police chief, the chief of the traffic police, the first secretary of the Komsomol, the employee Svetlogorsk court, the chief doctor ...
Returning from a walk, children took their places in anticipation of dinner. The dining room was filled with the aroma of hot soup. Tamara Cook Yankovskaya certainly, as usual, slowly strolled among the tables, watching to pupils ate carefully, slowly and correctly hold a spoon.
Looking out the window, the teacher Valentina Shabashova-Blizzard saw her son Andrew. On the day the boy was walking with her grandmother Nina in the city. Near kindergarten Nina met a neighbor. We stopped to chat. "Babul, I run to my mother for a minute? .." - Asked Andrew. Valentine rushed towards him. Mother and son had just cuddle ...
The next moment, the kindergarten building shook monstrous power stroke. Lost in the fall, both the plane and landing gear, fuselage opolovinenny at high speed rammed the second floor, burying under its rubble all. Aviation fuel, broke out from a blow with a bang in seconds engulfed in its flames all living things.
Near the flaming ruins of a kindergarten on the road lay the cockpit. In it, gripping the steering wheel, I sat a dead pilot. The co-pilot was lying on the road. The wind knocked down the flames with him, then fanned anew.
- It even one bucket of water is not poured, - says the old woman who lived next door. - To come close to him was impossible.
Driving the place of the accident, compiled eyewitness Valera horns.
It seemed that in this hell, no one could survive. Still, not all were killed. Then I escaped a horrible death kindergarten nurse Anna Nezvanova, wipe with a cloth window from the street. The blast threw her a few meters to the side. Hardly recollecting herself, Anna Nikitichna rushed to the burning ruins. There, under the ruins of the kindergarten he was her son Vanya. Distraught woman trying to get the baby, she almost did not die in the fire ...
On that day, for various reasons, we did not go to kindergarten, three pupils. Irina Golushko shortly before the tragedy, had the flu. May 16th Mother has lead her into the garden, but changed her mind.
- I was in the hospital with kidney disease, - says Oleg Saushkin, who was then six years old. - I remember that at some point the entire hospital began to fuss. Everyone started to run, somewhere leaves the machine in front of the hospital staff was dominated by confusion and signs of a distant fear. And on my mother, in tears, later told about what happened in my garden ...
- I was on the eve of the glands removed, my mother and I were on the sick, - says Olga Korobov. - Sit at home for me was unbearable torment. On the day my mother gave, "Okay, let's gather in the garden." We quickly got dressed and opened the door just as there was a loud explosion. It slammed so hard that the ground shook. By the way, my mother worked as a nurse in the garden. It turns out that God has saved her from a terrible death.
He has saved and Valeria Rogov, a graduate of the garden. And not just has saved, and warned of the tragedy.
- In 1972 I was in first grade, - says Valera. - During the night I had a dream. Clearly see the faces of their children from the kindergarten, in flames. Fire an unusual - a real torch. The next morning woke up in a cold sweat. What they saw, I told my mother. We did not give it any significance, but I went to school with a severe headache. Somewhere in the afternoon I went to the Garden - and ... In general, appeared on the scene one of the first. Around rushing, not knowing what to do, he ran to the aid of people. Somewhere in the bush, wrenching soul inside, burnt dog howling, howling terribly ...
- It was lunchtime when it happened - says a former employee Svetlogorsk ATS (1972 - Inspector Anti-Corruption Squad, Lieutenant) Leonid Baldykov. - At the very moment I was at home having dinner. My house was just a hundred meters from the kindergarten. What we saw on the spot, shocked us, the adults, strong men. Wall raging fire and unbearable children from the burning fuel, which spread over the asphalt from the broken tank ...
Almost simultaneously came to the place of accident police outfits, firefighters, military personnel of neighboring military units and the sailors of the Baltic Fleet. In minutes it was put triple cordon. Armed soldiers, firmly grappled hands, choking back unhappy mother, bursting to where in a terrible fire killed their children. Somehow I managed to push them to a safe distance.
- In the first row cordon was my uncle, Warrant Officer Valentin K., - says Oleg Saushkin. - According to him, most of all got the officers, warrant officers and sailors, who were standing near the destroyed kindergarten. Many, including he himself, were torn to shreds vest, faces were bruised from trying to break through the gauntlet, distraught women ...
Along the road, on grass blackened with soot, the military spread white sheets. Immediately they began to rescue stack extracted from the rubble remains of the children. Many, unable to bear, closed his eyes, turned away. Someone fainted.
- All my life I remember that terrible howl that shook the air - says Valery Rogov. - People were crying, screaming, crying, someone beat in hysterics ...
For special vehicles could park and pick up the remains of the victims, rescuers and firemen had to take away in different directions from the narrow streets of a pile of bricks and twisted fragments of the aircraft. Asphalt covered with numerous fissures, more like a bleeding wound. Immediately there were a canvas stretcher soldiers. Two strong fighters carried near Valera Rogov charred body of the pilot. Then - the second, third. Someone grabbed Valerie's hand. The boy turned and saw the tearful women who, pointing to the smoldering ruins, shouted to him: "Why are they there, and you're here ?! You should have been with them! Your mother told you to them! .. »
After 24 hours in the resort of Svetlogorsk of emergency was declared. Residents banned not only to leave the city, but even to leave their homes. Turn off the electricity and phones. The city stopped, people were sitting in the dark apartment, like in the shelters during the war. In the evening on the coast duty police patrols and vigilantes: the fear was that someone from the relatives of the victims decides to drown himself. Work on clearing debris and searching for dead bodies continued until late at night. Remains of the ruins, as it turned out, were taken to the dump on the outskirts of the city. For a long time in the surrounding area will find the charred children's books and toys, items and objects of military ammunition ...
As soon as the last loaded machine left the city limits, a place where the day before was a kindergarten, leveled by imposing turf scorched earth. To hide from prying eyes traces of the tragedy, it was decided to break in the place most flowerbed.
- By morning kindergarten though there was never - in its place blossomed flower bed! - Says Andrey Dmitriev. - Many parents then not believe his eyes. Scorched earth cut, laid turf, track, sprinkled with broken red brick. Broken off and burnt trees cut down. Only strongly smelled of kerosene. The smell stayed another two weeks ...
The consequences were appalling tragedies Svetlogorsk: 24 (not 23 as listed in the official sources) of the pupil, one kindergarten and 8 crew members were burned alive. Where there was one more child? It turned out one of the girls was the daughter of the sea captain. He was on a ship sent a telephone message sad. In response, he asked not to be buried in a mass grave daughter, and wait for him. Because the girl did not consider ...
Employees garden Yankovskaya Tamara, Antonina Romanenko and who suddenly dropped by to visit on the day her friend Julia Crow with severe burns were taken to a military hospital. In addition to their relatives in the hospital every day visited the KGB, ready for any assistance in exchange for silence. Unfortunately, Romanenko had died quickly, without regaining consciousness, Yankovskaya - six months, and Crow survived.
The dead children and teachers buried in a mass grave in the cemetery, not far from the train station Svetlogorsk-1. On the day of the funeral was limited movement on roads connecting the regional center from Svetlogorsk. At the same time it was canceled diesel trains carry passengers from Kaliningrad in the resort town. The official version - urgent repair of roads, informal - to minimize the publicity of all the circumstances of the crash. Despite the time constraints associated with mourning ceremonies at the cemetery on the day of the funeral brought together an estimated eyewitnesses, more than seven thousand people
At the funeral, the KGB forbidden to photograph and film illuminates those who did. But a few pictures to make friends of the victims have been able to. Photo from personal archive
Upon crash in Svetlogorsk criminal case was not initiated. Limited only by order of the minister of defense, according to which it was removed from the position of about 40 military officers.
And then there was the basic version: blame the pilots, in which blood was allegedly found alcohol. For this reason, relatives of the dead children and staff of the kindergarten forbidden to bury the pilots on Svetlogorsk cemetery near "their victims." For the same reason, the Chapel in the general list of those killed in a plane crash there was no place eight names of the members of the crew.
The priest of the local church keeps at some archival documents relating to the tragedy. But the main thing - here came the dispatcher, mechanic pilots that very unit. Many confessed ... What can I say? The mystery of the confession does not allow him to talk. But he is sure that the crew at anything.
There were other versions, sometimes absurd. Someone claimed that the pilots poorly prepared for the assignment. Do not forget about the girls-nudistok, sunbathing on the beach (and it is in 1972, but at a temperature of 6 degrees!), Which tried to see if the pilots during the next decline over the sea. They wrote that the crew took off allegedly illegally. In fact, the reason was altimeter ...
- The nearest to us Scandinavian neighbors repeatedly attempted violation of air borders, - says one of the workers 263rd separate transport aviation regiment (the one who owned the crashed plane). - In some cases, they succeeded. And these were not military aircraft. Sports class, single-engine, low-flying, guided by amateur pilots. To find out how foreign pilots to freely cross the border, the Soviet command was decided by the naval aviation of the Baltic Fleet to conduct test flights in the area of responsibility of the Soviet radar coastal surveillance system. And on that fateful day on the job went to the An-24 (hull number 05) with the crew captain Vilora Gutnik. On the eve of the flight team on top of the An-24 was rearranged altimeter with IL-14. The efficiency of the device has not been tested properly. No one then could have imagined how the altimeter will behave on a new plane.
According to legend, the crew captain Gutnik had to play the role of conditional purpose, ie aircraft wrongdoing. In the field of aircraft radar I had the purpose to gain altitude, delete, and then - sharply down to get out of control, "all-seeing eye." By reducing - to turn on the right and left, to outwit the operator station. Gutnik faithfully did what was required. The operator constantly informed altitude, and he made notches on the tablet, informing the crew of the bead 05, the goal is visible or not. At the very low altitude radar did not see the target: the plane out of his field of vision. That is why I did not notice the danger. The crew until the last second kept in touch with the shore, but the sea was lying dense fog.
The first crash occurred at 14 minutes 48 seconds of flight. Flight recorders recorded altimeter readings: 150 meters above sea level. In fact, from the foot of steep cliffs to the top of a birch - not more than 85 meters.
In fact declassified in the diagram clearly traced all the way to the fall of the aircraft and the destruction of its design. But eyewitnesses drew his map. They handed it to us for publication in "MK". It is said that, maybe it will help a little to heal their wounds ... How? The fact that the inhabitants of the vast country finally will see for themselves how it was actually.
© Eva Merkacheva A Burakou
That was such a horrible story, I lived and did not know.