A HIBS supporter who was on a charity mission to the Ukraine has been caught up in the aftermath of bomb blasts which rocked the country.
Stevie Carr, who is chairman of the Dnipro Kids charity, was in a shopping centre just 400 yards from a busy tram stop, where the first of four explosions erupted yesterday.
Mr Carr had walked past the tram stop just an hour before the bomb went off.
At least 29 people were injured by attacks in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk yesterday.
The explosives, which it is believed were planted in bins, went off in quick succession at around noon.
“I didn’t know there had been an explosion at first,” Mr Carr said. “I heard a bang at one point but it never really registered. Then I heard the sirens.
“The mobile phone reception went off and the traffic was at a standstill.
“I was right there about an hour before the explosion – it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
“I didn’t quite believe it had happened. It’s not an area where you would expect terrorist attacks.”
No one was killed in the explosions, although video footage showed survivors with bloodied limbs. It is not yet known who is responsible.
The Dnipro Kids charity was set up in 2005 after Hibs were drawn against FC Dnipro in the UEFA Cup.
Hibs fans have raised funds for orphanages in the city ever since and Mr Carr is a regular visitor to the city, where he organises trips and activities for the children. Mr Carr said that the charity had been forced to abandon a plan to take a group of children to the cinema tonight after the authorities stepped in and advised against it.
“They don’t want large groups of children in a confined area within the centre in case there are further attacks,” he said.
“Our thoughts go out to those who have been injured. We’re hoping it will be okay.
“When we were drawn against Dnipro, the idea was to do something on the day of the match for one orphanage.
“But we decided to keep it going because the supporters had such a good time and the people in Dnipropetrovsk made us so welcome. A lot of Hibs supporters still support the charity.
“They will remember the main square, and the explosion was just 50 yards up the road. They will know how busy it was.
“I’m sure a lot of Hibs fans will be concerned. They’ll be hearing this news and sparing their thoughts for their friends out here.”