Chabad Emissaries at Bombed Moscow Airport: “It Was a Horrifying Scene”


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries who responded to the bombing at Moscow’s busiest airport described a "horrifying scene."

In an e-mail to JTA, Rabbi Sheah Deitsch, one of a group of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries who are first responders on behalf of the Moscow Chief Rabbinate, said that "families were screaming and wailing."

"They asked to speak to the Jewish rabbis, and we tried to uplift their spirits and told them that we were there for them for whatever they needed," he wrote.

Monday’s bombing at the the Domodedovo Airport killed at least 35 and injured 130.

"From the preliminary information we have, it was a terror attack," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in a televised briefing, adding that those responsible would be "tracked down and punished."

Moscow transportation services went on high alert following the attack. Israel canceled all flights to Moscow.

Deitsch said his group reviewed a list of the names of the dead and determined that it contained no Jews. The Chabad rabbis remained at the airport to comfort the families of the dead. They also arranged kosher food for passengers on an El Al flight bound for Tel Aviv that was not able to take off due to the attack.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it was not sure whether any of the victims were Israeli.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his condolences to the Russian people and the families of those killed in the terror attack.

"Terror is international, and so the response to it must be international," he said. "If we unite we will suppress the terrorists and thwart their plans."

In March 2010, two female Chechen suicide bombers blew themselves up in the metro system, killing 40. In 2004, two suicide bombers boarded separate planes at the same airport and blew themselves up in midair, killing all 90 people aboard the two flights.