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In Polish village where missile struck, terrified locals face up to tragedy

Reuters · 11/16/2022 05:04
In Polish village where missile struck, terrified locals face up to tragedy

By Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska


- Hours after a stray missile brought death from the war on their doorstep, the villagers of Przewodow, south-eastern Poland, struggled on Wednesday to adjust to the reality of a and terrifying threat.

Many locals kept their children indoors while others assessed damage caused to local buildings by the explosion, which killed two people at a grain dryer some six km (four miles) from the border with Ukraine.

"I'm terrified, people whom we knew very well have died," Joanna Magus, a teacher of Polish at the local primary school, who lies just 100 metres (330 feet) from the site of the explosion, told reporters.

"It's a very small community, one of the men who died is my colleague."

After a sleepless , principal Ewa Byra decided to keep the school, situated some 300 metres from the blast site, open.

"I told the parents I see grounds to close the school but kids haven't shown up. It seems parents have kept them at home amid the heavy police presence," she told Reuters.

She was at a different school in a different community when the blast happened but an employee that lives some 15 kilometres from the school told her the explosion had shaken windows there.

One of the victims was a father of an ex-pupil and the other the husband of a cleaner at the school, Byra said.

She said she was worried about the psychological impact of the blast on her pupils.

"Since the start of the war we keep analyzing the danger, it has quieted down recently, but here we are today," she said. "It's terrifying."

It is as yet unclear who launched the missile, which U.S. President Joe Biden said was probably fired from Russia.

It exploded as Moscow unleashed a wave of missiles targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure, attacks that Kyiv said were the heaviest in months of war.


(Writing by Marek Strzelecki, editing by Gwladys Fouche and John Stonestreet)

((Marek.Strzelecki@thomsonreuters.com;))