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We were afraid that we would just be blown up – pop star spends 15 hours on plane during takeover of Almaty airport

12 January 2022 10:00

ALMATY. KAZINFORM - Kazakh singer Nazima, signed with the Black Star label, boarded her plane to Moscow on 5 January only to find herself trapped in it with other passengers at the Almaty airport seized by terrorists, Kazinform reports.

The singer took to her official Instagram account to share how a regular flight to Moscow turned into 15 hours of horror.

«I was in one of those planes that were on the tarmac of the Almaty airport when it was taken over [by the protesters]. I was supposed to have a concert in Almaty on 5 January. I made sure to fly into the city a day in advance. Everything was calm. I went shopping, bought presents. I arrived at the hotel, and that was the moment when the explosions began. I couldn't sleep until 7 a.m. because of the noise. The Internet was down, however, I somehow managed to get a message from my concert director saying the show was canceled,» she wrote.

The pop star began to look for air tickets to Moscow to fly out as soon as possible.

« I left for the airport four hours in advance to make it on time. When I arrived at the airport the domestic flights were canceled immediately. The international ones were boarding. When I got to the gate I could clearly see the invaders approaching the airport,» Nazima wrote.

She added that her flight was about to take off when the pilot announced that the airport was seized and there was no communication with the control room. Later on the passengers were told the control room was completely raided. They were told to close the window blinds to make it look like there was no one on the plane.

In her words, everything happened in a matter of 15 minutes. The Internet was shut off. Passengers had no idea what was going on, they couldn’t contact anyone.

What was actually really terrifying, according to Nazima, is that the passengers thought that the invaders would just blow the plane up. There were cars passing by, flashing, inspecting, and it was clear that these were not the airport employees, but those who actually seized the airport.

Nazima said that was the moment the panic kicked in. «I was never afraid of flying, but at the moment I thought we wouldn’t be able to get out of this confined space. I started breathing and praying for this to end as soon as possible,» she added.

According to her, in total the passengers spent about 15 hours on the plane.

«After the evacuation I went to my brother’s place and spent the next day in Almaty. We were looking for a car to get to Shymkent,» Nazima said. However, the things didn’t go as planned.

Two young men who were supposed to help Nazima escape the turmoil and get to Shymkent were shot on their way to her. One of them was killed and the second one was injured.

«It happened on 6 January in the streets of Almaty. Just two innocent men,» she added.

«When we finally left for Shymkent, there were a lot of burned cars, looted shops around, people were stealing gasoline at gas stations… I couldn't believe my own eyes,» she said.

In her Instagram post Nazima also extended her heartfelt condolences to all the families of the victims and wished a speedy stabilization of the situation in the country.

Recall, on the night of January 6 it was reported that during the counter-terrorist operation the Almaty airport previously seized by terrorists was liberated.