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Terror as Lord of the Rings children’s summer camp goes up in flames: girl dies, 3 gravely hurt

By The Siberian Times reporter
23 July 2019

One child sends chilling video message home from inferno: ‘Mum, we’ve got a problem here.’

Amid the scenes of carnage, it appeared miraculous more were not hurt or killed in the summer camp at Holdomi ski resort.

Fire swept through a children’s holiday camp today in Khabarovsk region, killing one girl, gravely injuring two more girls and one boy who are on artificial breathing machines, and leaving dozens in shock. 

The dead girl was named as Sonya Valova, 11.

Others hurt were named as Elizaveta, 12, who suffered 90% skin burns, and Veronica, 13, and Alexey, 11, who also had burns. 

Amid the scenes of carnage, it appeared miraculous more were not hurt or killed in the summer camp at Holdomi ski resort.

Twenty out of 26 tents were totally destroyed by the raging fire at 2am. 

There were 189 children at the popular camp which had a Lord of the Rings theme, involving games based on the famous story. 

One child sent a video home with flames lashing the tents pleading: ‘Mum, we’ve got a problem here.’

Footage shows children in their nightclothes and underwear fleeing from the flames.

Holdomi after the fire


Holdomi after the fire


Holdomi after the fire


Holdomi after the fire


Holdomi after the fire

Twenty out of 26 tents were totally destroyed by the raging fire at 2am. 

Latest reports said that one child died, four were in hospital - three of them in ‘extremely grave’ conditions, and five more needed medical help. 

Viktor Starkov, head of Solnechny District, said: ‘Three children are in extremely grave conditions, balancing on the very edge. 

‘They have severe burns, they are on artificial lungs ventilation.' 

Camp staff initially tried to put out the flames, losing valuable time before calling the emergency services, it is claimed. 

Before the fire


After the fire

Before and after. 'My tent and bed 6 days later', captioned his picture Ilya Maslov, who left the camp a few days before the fire.

The blaze covered 240 square metres.

Children were evacuated to a nearby building and by morning 80 had been collected by their parents. Most were from Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

A full scale medical operation was set in motion, with paediatricians and other emergency ward doctors involved.

Psychologists are working with both children rescued from the fire and their parents.

Evacuated kids


Evacuated kids

All their belongings were burnt in the fire, and children ran out in their pyjamas.

One parent said: ‘The fire began soon after 2 am in one of the tents. 

‘According to a girl from the camp, the clothes were drying on an air heater. 

‘It was cold at night, many used such heaters. The fire immediately caught all inside the tent.’

The flames rapidly spread to other tents. Group leaders evacuated the children. 

Holdomi camp before the fire


Holdomi camp before the fire


Holdomi camp before the fire


Holdomi camp before the fire

There were 189 children at the popular camp which had a Lord of the Rings theme, involving games based on the famous story.

‘All their belongings were burnt in the fire, and children ran out in their pyjamas.

‘Many were barefoot. 

‘We came to pick up our child soon after 3 am… parents keep coming.’

A criminal investigation is expected. 

One lawyer Mikhail Sleptsov said there appeared to have been multiple safety violations and he expected tough punishments for the camp owners.

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