NATO aggression against Serbia and the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, which lasted 78 days, took about two and a half thousands lives and wounded and injured more than twelve and a half thousand people. During bombing, transport infrastructure was damaged and almost destroyed. On this day, eighteen years ago, NATO bombs hit the international passenger train that was crossing the railway bridge in Grdelica Gorge. Today, we are gathered here to honor the dead and to promise that that their sacrifice will not be forgotten – said the State Secretary in the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Miodrag Poledica, at a commemorative event held next to the railway bridge in Grdelica Gorge.
International express train number 393, which was operating on the route Belgrade-Niš-Skopje, was destroyed by on April 12, 1999 at 11.40 hours by NATO warplanes while crossing Grdelica bridge. Out of four missiles, two struck road bridge and two struck wagons. According to official figures, 15 people were killed and 44 were injured. Among those killed were children, and two railway workers, Zoran Jovanović and Petar Mladenovic
During the commemoration, wreaths dedicated to the killed passengers were laid by Director General of “Serbian Railways” JSC Miroslav Stojicic, and acting directors of companies Srbija Voz, Serbian Railways Infrastructure and Serbia Cargo. Wraths were also laid by a delegation of the City of Leskovac, families of the dead, trade unions, social organizations, political parties and others.
The commemoration was closed with the symbolic passing of the train through Grdelica railway bridge with the continuous sound of sirens.