– Eight years ago, international passenger train number 393 was hit by several projectiles, right at the railway bridge in Grdelica Gorge. Approximately fifty persons were killed or missing. The exact number has never been determined. Those were railway men, passengers, young persons, and they all died for some unreasonable and uncertain motives, – said Milanko Sarancic, Director General of “Serbian Railways”, addressing to all the attendances at the railway bridge in Grdelica Gorge, on the occasion of the eight anniversary of this horrible incident.
Sarancic specified that, since the bombing in 1999, Serbian railways have suffered a damage of almost 500 million German Marks, while indirect damage amounts over a billion. During the bombing, Serbian railways were attacked 210 times, at 160 spots, and 310 structures and objects were damaged. According to his words, the repair of railway structures destroyed in NATO bombing, was finalized last year with the repair of two bridges near Ostruznica and Bogojevo.
For the period of 78 days of bombing, 11 railway workers were killed, two of them at the attacked train, the conductor Zoran Jovanovic on his duty, and his colleague Petar Mladenovic as a passenger.
– No words could express our feelings. But I have to say that nobody has the right to destroy human lives for some other reasons, whatever they are, – said PhD Vladan Marinkovic, Mayor of Leskovac.
For all the victims of 1999 bombing, at the railway bridge in Grdelica Gorge, all the presents placed flowers in the river, and among them the soldiers of Serbian Army, Director General of Serbian Railways, Milanko Sarancic, Mayor of Leskovac Vladan Marinkovic, representative of the City of Nis Dejan Rajcic, several representatives of Railway Unions, political parties etc.
After the ceremony and national anthem, international passenger train from Belgrade to Thessalonica run over the Grdelica Bridge, giving one-minute siren sound to remind of all the victims killed at bombarded train eight years ago.