Second-grader Sasha Ershova saved a 3-year-old girl after a tragedy at the Transvaal water park 17 years ago

On February 14, 2004, the glass dome of the Transvaal water park in Moscow collapsed. During the disaster, Sasha, an 8-year-old girl, did not lose her calm, but instead acted like a genuine hero, saving the life of Masha Gavrilova, a three-year-old newborn. 

Sasha cradled a strange girl in her arms for a long time, completely unaware that her left arm was broken. The heroine believed she only had Masha for a half-hour, but they had been waiting for the rescuers for approximately two hours. 

Sasha’s mother found her and tried to pull her out by the hand, but she refused, saying, “No, mom, I can’t, I’m holding a young girl in my arms, and if I let her go, she’ll drown.”

 The rescuers that arrived offered Sasha the chance to crawl beneath the stove and escape, but she refused once more. The rescuers then seized Sasha by the hair, forcing her to swim behind the stove in the dark. 

Masha Gavrilova, the rescued woman, did not know how to swim and ended herself alone by mistake when her mother walked down the hill and her father went to observe how her mother would perform a difficult act. For a little while, the infant was out of sight of his parents. When the wall began to fall, she was cut off from her brother, father, and mother.

 Masha addressed her hero as “Aunt Sasha,” assuming that it was an older lady, not a schoolgirl, who had saved her. Masha’s parents were horrified to learn that their daughter had been saved not by an adult “aunt,” but by a toddler. 

Sasha was given the medal “For the Salvation of the Perishing” for her bravery. But the greatest prize for Sasha was that both her mother and father survived the disaster. Their family has now celebrated its second birthday: everyone survived in the heart of the devastation, where the casualties were the most numerous.

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