Fr, 2.12.2022

Villager from Przewodów on the missile hits: two of my friends were killed

Villager from Przewodów on the missile hits: two of my friends were killed
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Stanisław, a farmer, pushed his bicycle next to his hand after marching home from a neighboring village that had been hit by a rocket and thanked his luck that he was still alive.
Stanisław, a farmer, pushed his bicycle next to his hand after marching home from a neighboring village that had been hit by a rocket and thanked his luck that he was still alive. Photo: Madis Veltman
  • The whistle and roar were followed by an explosion a few seconds later.
  • The villagers avoid the numerous journalists.
  • A Polish journalist said that slight panic could be observed.

The village of Przewodów in the eastern part of Poland, with about four hundred inhabitants, is deeply shocked after a tragic accident which took place yesterday afternoon – a grain dryer in the settlement ten kilometers from the Ukrainian border was hit by a missile (according to some reports, two) and its explosion claimed two lives.

“Two of my friends were killed,” Stanisław, a farmer who was pushing a bicycle on the way to his home village of Sentniki, five kilometers from Przewodów, told Postimees today. “I knew them because I live in the same area. I feel sorry for these guys. One of them once went to school here, the other lived five kilometers away from Sentniki.”

Journalists could only catch a glimpse of the grain dryer, where the rocket flew and as a result of which two people died, from a great distance. Investigators were on site.
Journalists could only catch a glimpse of the grain dryer, where the rocket flew and as a result of which two people died, from a great distance. Investigators were on site. Photo: Madis Veltman

According to Stanisław, it is a very tragic story. “I was in the cowshed when two rockets flew low and fast over the shed. I heard a whistle and a noise. There was a pause for a few seconds, and then an explosion was heard from the grain dryer,” he said. "I was just going to bring the cows in from the field."

Jubilee accompanied by missile explosion

According to Stanisław, he immediately went outside after the explosion to see if the barn still had a roof. “We live close to the Ukrainian border and what [is happening there] still scares me. I'm lucky I didn't die because it was my birthday yesterday. It was just my luck," said the farmer who held a jubilee on the same day as the accident.

Stanisław made a little joke about the sad story: "I celebrated my 60th birthday with a missile explosion."

Police cars constantly circled the scene. The press was kept away.
Police cars constantly circled the scene. The press was kept away. Photo: Madis Veltman

To investigate the cause of the incident, the Polish authorities opened an investigation and closed all major roads around the scene to traffic. Accordingly, the hundreds of journalists and photographers who were present today, stayed several hundreds of meters away from the grain dryer in the place provided for them and under the watchful eye of the police.

At the same time, police cars were constantly patrolling the scene. A larger type of drone was flown over the crash site.

No information, the villagers avoid the press

Stanisław Jeglinski, a journalist from the Polish English-language TV channel TVP World, who spoke to journalists of Postimees in the afternoon, stated that the information about what happened is contradictory and quite scarce. According to him, the few people who remained in the village did not tend to communicate with journalists much after the accident.

In spite of everything, dozens and dozens of domestic and foreign publications, radio and TV channels, with nearly fifty transmission vans and other vehicles, have already set up their camp in Przewodów.

The incident, which quickly became major news, resulted in a situation in Hrubieszów county where there was not a single free room in any decent hotel. The nearest vacant accommodation was more than 50 kilometers away from Przewodów.

Despite the lack of information, journalists tried to cover what was happening as best they could.
Despite the lack of information, journalists tried to cover what was happening as best they could. Photo: Madis Veltman

The authorities were willing to oblige to the journalists to the extent of opening the doors of the small local schoolhouse for them, where they could take shelter from the rain and cool wind, or if they wanted, even stay overnight. “It was decided today that only the locals can use the school building, so that they can be provided psychological aid there, but I have not seen any locals going there during the day," said TV journalist Jeglinski.

"I heard that there was supposed to be a crisis meeting for the local people and psychologists were sent here. Construction workers were also moving around, as several other nearby buildings were heavily damaged as a result of the explosion. Representatives of insurance companies also work here,” the TV journalist listed the most important events which had caught his eye.

The local authority remained calm

“Things are organized well at the municipal level but we do not have much insight into what the local people think. They have enough to do and do not have much time to talk to anyone about what happened. But of course – they are in shock, because the two victims were family members, husbands. Of course, all the villagers here know each other well,” said Jeglinski.

The Przewodów schoolhouse was expected to demand psychological help from the villagers, but there were reportedly no applicants.
The Przewodów schoolhouse was expected to demand psychological help from the villagers, but there were reportedly no applicants. Photo: Madis Veltman

He noted that while such behavior was not prevalent, small signs of panic could be observed among local people. “Some instinctively went to buy car fuel when they heard what happened. They simply could not think anything of it, because they live close to the border," said the journalist.

"Besides, at the beginning of the [Ukrainian] war, the community here was under a huge burden due to the massive wave of refugees. So they were already prepared for the same crisis scenario from earlier. Thank God nothing major happened this time. Everything will probably settle down and the usual rhythm of life will also be restored. It is from this point of view that we try to reflect what is happening here. No one wants to cause unnecessary stress.”

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