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Life – gum: 21 people died in Sokolniki after the hockey game

Жизнь - за жвачку: 21 человек погибли в Сокольниках после хоккейного матча

The tragedy in sports Palace Sokolniki in March 1975 claimed the lives of 21 people, but it prompted the Soviet government to establish production in the country of chewing gum

In the Soviet press about it not a word was said, although in time of peace destruction in one place twenty-one men, thirteen of whom at the time of death was not yet sixteen, an event for any country “out of the ordinary,” writes LiveJournal blogger Dimitri Podkovyrov.

Here’s how it went:

Forty years ago, visited Moscow Junior ice hockey team from Ontario, “Barry Cup”. Here she spent five friendlies against 17-year-old peers from the national team of the USSR (twice) and the capital’s “Spartacus” (also twice) and “wings of the Soviets”. Sponsor of the tour was the company “Wrigley”, a world leader in the production of chewing gum.

 

But it not only has completely paid the fare “Barry Cup” in the USSR, but also gave each player canadian team at the 15-pound box of their brand name products. And they, in the terms of the contract, was free to distribute it to viewers present at their matches.

Fedor Razzakov, the author of the book series “Life of remarkable times. 1975-1979 Time, events, people”, 8 March 1975 (along with his middle brother Roman and friend Sergey Valovym) was among the spectators of the match of the youth national team of the Soviet Union and the “Barry Cup”. Here’s how he describes his impressions: “…During the match, which ended in the victory of our 5:1, we saw how the canadian fans and the players of the national team “maple leaf” occasionally threw into the stands of different favors: gum, colored stickers. Teenagers that these things were unusual, rushed on them like pigeons on bread, and happy with Canadians at this time, snapping cameras.”

Rumors about distribution of canadian Souvenirs to the fans spread to Moscow lightning, and on March 10 the Palace of sports “Sokolniki”, where were held the next game, according to the eyewitness, “was Packed to the eyeballs.”

From the testimony of A. Nazarov (he was only 15 years old) that he and two classmates sat in the third row of the first tier, just behind the bench for the canadian team.

“The entire game, the Canadians turned around and threw the kids gum and stickers, notes on. In the hall were soldiers and police – and they many not allowed to pick it all. In the ninth row sat the foreigners, but to him, we were not allowed to approach. The match ended 3:3, and as the siren sounded, we rushed to the exit to get to the landing of foreigners in buses – there is still something you can grasp. If we knew that this gum our friend the wolf will die!”…

“Hodynka” at gate 5

According to the findings of the investigation, which became known many years later, the tragedy in Sokolniki was preceded by the following events.

First, at the end of the match was involved in three outputs, but foreigners left the Palace of sports in two of them, and for the evacuation of the local public was involved only exit # 5. And that is not right, as Canadians (on the idea of party and Soviet bosses) had to leave the podium first.

Second, not quite sober by the end of the hockey match electrician, apparently decided that his working day is over. But before leaving, grabbed the handle not the switch and de-energize the Palace at the moment when the audience still down to the same exit No. 5 on a single ladder. In total darkness some of them stumble, and a stream of people never stopped…

The testimony of Bichenkova posted in Wikipedia notes: “After the game my husband went to the door. When the end of the stairs left of the steps 20, I saw a man lifted the boy and shouted: “Stop!” But people still pressed forward. I managed to pass by the fallen. Leaving the asphalt, I started to look for her husband. Adjacent layers of the lay people, and police were trying someone out of the rubble. Husband pulled out and began to administer CPR. Then I’m with him got on the bus and went to Ostroumovskaya the hospital where the husband died”.

Regarding the full chain of events lined up only after fans of the Moscow hockey club “Spartak” Marat Safin and Alexander Malyshev found two more witnesses who were direct participants of the events. And one of them was in a stampede and only a miracle was able to escape, by the way, thanks to the second.

 

— I was 17, I went to classes at vocational schools, — says Alexander Goncharov. Lived in Sokolniki, on Stromynke. There were three of us. I Zudin, Anatoliy and Viktor Zaika. At the end of the game our players were lost in the one goal. I think the score was 2:3. I thought, “what can I sit?” And we went out. Lit. A few minutes later I heard screams coming from the exit. Came back, and the barred door is locked. And the light on the street is not lit. And it was on fire! Darkness, and the door is closed congregate people, from the top platform which presses the crowd. Who hung this castle? Why?! We just left!

As further noted in the material Safina and M. A. Malysheva, posted in the online edition of “Hot Ice – Hot Ice,” “…got a real live press. Charging on top of cheerful young guys shouted “come on!” But there was nowhere to go. Upstairs that no one understood and the people that were there, most of whom were 15-16 years of age, continued to put pressure on the crowd. And standing at the door could not speak, as it began to choke.

Suddenly over their heads and shoulders ran a young man. Apparently, he jumped from above and shouted: “come on kids!” The crowd began to pop out already weakening hands, the last effort pulling children. The man began to throw the surviving children Sasha and his comrades. Those caught, put them on the ground and pulled his hands behind new.

Some time later, the gate finally opened. And the people stood in two or three rows directly to the grid, crashed to the ground. Some of them were unconscious, the part is already dead. Fallen on top piled new layers and new people.

Among the fallen, I saw a former classmate of the 367 school Sasha Medvedev — says Goncharov. — He gasped, but could say: “Sasha, Goncharik, get me out of here”. Under him were already dead. I couldn’t get one and called the other. “Get The Bear!” shout. Pulled out, he caught his breath. I knew that hockey still went to my younger brother. I ran and shouted: “Where’s my Slayer?” As it turned out, he was with my friends, and they quietly left through the other exit. I met him unharmed.

Funny punishment

…Two of Alexander were in luck: neither they nor their relatives were not injured. But twenty-one spectator died and another 25 were injured.

Two months after the tragedy, the trial of the “designated” culprits. On the dock there were four: the Director of the sports Palace (at the time of the incident he was at the district party activists), his Deputy (he went home with half of the match), head of the 70-th of the police station (during the match he felt ill and went home) and the head of the Sokolniki police station. They are all under the sentence he received for three years in a General regime colony (the maximum at that time, the punishment under article 172 of the RSFSR criminal code on liability for negligent performance of their duties). However, in December 1975, three out of four came home: helped another Amnesty.

In addition, his “bread place” has lost the head of Department of sports of the Moscow city sports Committee Nikolay Kozyrin, was March 10, 1975, on a business trip in the West German Hamburg. What happened to “managing switches” out, alas, no one has.

“Sokolniki” at the end of the hockey season was closed on long reconstruction. A commemorative plaque of the victims “of the Sokolnicheskaya Khodynka” appeared on the wall of the Palace of sports in April 2013.

Considering the approaching Olympics-80, the country’s leadership has decided to hide all the information about the tragedy and get chewing gum production in the USSR. In the 1976-77 year was put into operation the line for production of the first Soviet chewing gum in Biysk, Erevan, Rostov-on-don, Tallinn, and later in other cities.

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