People sheltering at a theater in Mariupol that was struck by a Russian bomb on Wednesday are emerging alive, according to a short statement posted on Facebook Thursday by the former head of the Donetsk region.
“After an awful night of not knowing, we finally have good news from Mariupol on the morning of the 22nd day of the war. The bomb shelter [of the theater] was able to hold. The rubble is beginning to be cleared. People are coming out alive,” Sergei Taruta wrote.
It is not yet clear if this means all those inside the building have survived. Hundreds of people were believed to have taken shelter in the theater.
Some context: Mariupol City Council, which shared an image of the destroyed building, said Russian forces had "purposefully and cynically destroyed the Drama Theater in the heart of Mariupol."
"The plane dropped a bomb on a building where hundreds of peaceful Mariupol residents were hiding," it said.
CNN geolocated the image and confirmed it is of the theater in the southeastern port city. The word "children" was spelled out on two sides of the theater before it was bombed, according to satellite images.
Videos of the aftermath showed a fire raging in the theater's ruins. The number of casualties is unknown, authorities said.