Screams and Blank Stares of Shock: Horror at a Russian Concert

Once they heard the shots ring out on Friday night at Crocus City Hall, Efim Fidrya and his wife ran down to the building’s basement and hid with three others in a bathroom.

They listened as shots rang out and thousands of people who had come to a sold-out rock concert on Moscow’s outskirts began screaming and trying to flee.

Horrified and scared, Mr. Fidrya did the only thing he could think to do: He held on tight to the bathroom door, which didn’t lock, trying to protect the group in case the assailants came to find them.

“While we could hear shooting and screaming, I stood the whole time holding the bathroom door shut,” Mr. Fidrya, an academic, said in a phone interview from Moscow. “The others were standing in the corner so that if someone started shooting through the door, they wouldn’t be in the line of fire.”

They didn’t know it then, but they were sheltering from what became Russia’s deadliest terror attack in two decades, after four armed gunmen had entered the popular concert venue and began shooting rapid-fire weapons.

Their story is one of many harrowing accounts that have emerged in the days since the attack, which killed at least 137 people. More than 100 injured people are hospitalized, some in critical condition, health officials said.

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