"20/20" TRAVELS TO RUSSIA TO REPORT ON THE AFTERMATH OF
THE SCHOOL MASSACRE IN BESLAN-ELIZABETH VARGAS REPORT ON
HOW FAMILIES ARE COPING AFTER TERRORISTS KILLED HUNDREDS,
MOSTLY CHILDREN-OCTOBER 22 ON ABC
Also: Rocker Tommy Lee Tells All to Chris Connelly;
Inside the Mind of Single Women - John Stossel Reports
Last month the world witnessed a devastating massacre at a school in Beslan, Russia, when hundreds of innocent victims, mostly children, were killed by terrorists. "20/20" anchor Elizabeth Vargas traveled to the shattered town, changed forever, to find out first hand how the survivors and the victims' families are coping and moving forward. And, she interviews the Russian pediatric doctors who were the first on scene to treat the most severely wounded, including a young child they now call the "Miracle Child of Beslan." Included in our report is exclusive, never-before-seen footage of the day of the siege. This emotional report airs on "20/20" FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Vargas reports that the school remains exactly as it stood the minute the bombing and shooting stopped -- and the school gymnasium where hundreds were held hostage -- has become a moving memorial, filled with flowers, photos and toys, as well as tributes from around the world. Several families visiting the school to grieve, some for the first time, tell Vargas of their ordeals during the massacre. The return for one family seemed helpful; for another, it seemed more difficult. One woman told the story of how she was forced by the terrorists to leave the school with her infant daughter and leave her nine year old daughter behind to die. This mother explained to Vargas that her infant daughter "is the only thing that keeps me going."
Vargas also speaks to Raissa Totyeva, a mother who lost four of her five children in the massacre. Only her 13-year-old daughter, Medina, survived, and she also spoke with Vargas. Raissa, the mother, said she felt helpless during the horrific ordeal. "It's very hard when you are near and you can't help them, and every shot I hear was going through my heart," says Raissa, who lives not far from the school. Her four children are now buried next to each other in a new cemetery filled with victims from the massacre. "It's such a deep wound, very deep. We have to go on, but it's so hard."
"20/20" reports on an elite Russian team of pediatric surgeons who had set up a temporary operating unit alongside the local hospital and went to work on hundreds of children, performing life-saving surgeries. The team performed 47 serious surgeries in four hours. Vargas reports that, out of the 200 children treated at the scene, the medical team did not lose one life. "20/20" also visited a hospital in Moscow where the most serious cases were sent. Vargas talks to the doctors who worked on Azam Mukagov, a 21-month old who has been called the "Miracle Child of Beslan" - used as a human shield by one of the terrorists, his internal organs were severed by shrapnel in three locations. Today doctors believe he will make a full recovery.
Vargas also speaks to a group of students who survived inside the school. One boy says, "The town is kind of sad." A girl adds, "You begin to understand more clearly that you've been saved... that you're alive."
And: Rocker Tommy Lee has run wild with his band Motley Crue, wed two of America's most desirable women, starred in one of the most talked-about home videos ever, endured a jail term after spousal abuse charges, and watched helplessly as a four-year-old boy drowned in his pool. The man who has lived it all and loved it is now telling all in a new book, Tommyland. But first he talks candidly to ABC News contributing correspondent Chris Connelly.
Plus: Why is the new dating advice book, He's Just Not That Into You, flying off of the bookshelves? In the second installment of the "20/20 Inquirer," John Stossel gathers a group of single women together to find out why this tough-love guide to understanding men has become their dating bible.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. David Sloan is executive producer.