By Orowo Victoria Ojieh
No fewer than 60 people are missing and feared dead due to Russia bombing a school in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, the regional governor said on Sunday.
The governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, said Russian forces dropped a bomb on Saturday on the school in Bilohorivka where about 90 people were sheltering causing fire that destroyed the building.
The governor said that two people were confirmed dead and 30 civilians were rescued, seven of them wounded. His accusation could not be verified independently and there was no immediate response from Russia. Bilohorivka is close to the government-held city of Severodonetsk, where heavy fighting was reported in the suburbs on Saturday.
The blast brought down the building which caught fire and it took firefighters morethan three hours to extinguish the blaze, according to the governor “The fire was extinguished after nearly four hours, then the rubble was cleared, and, unfortunately, the bodies of two people were found,” Gaidai wrote on Telegram.
“Thirty people were evacuated from the rubble, seven of whom were injured. Sixty people were likely to have died under the rubble of buildings.” Ukraine and the West have accused Russian forces of targeting civilians and war crimes, Moscow rejects the accusation. Russia’s 10-week-old war on Ukraine has killed thousands, destroyed cities and driven 5 million Ukrainians to flee abroad.
Since the invasion began on 24 February, the UN has recorded at least 2,345 civilian deaths and 2,919 injured in Ukraine, the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in an update last month.
Luhansk and Donetsk form part of the Donbas region, the region has been under the control of the separatists for the past eight years.