The school building has reportedly been destroyed and people could be under the rubble, according to local authorities. Mariupol council says that around 400 people, including women, children and the elderly, were sheltering in the school at the time. There has so far been no report on the number of casualties.
This comes less than a week after Russian forces were accused of bombing a theatre and swimming pool facility in the same city, where hundreds of civilians were sheltering from the bombs.
City authorities said 130 people were rescued but many more could remain under the debris.
The port city of Mariupol has been under siege since the war began on February 24, 2022, with a Russian airstrike hitting the maternity ward of a hospital earlier in the war.
In a video address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “To do this to a peaceful city, what the occupiers did, is a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come.”
According to local authorities, mass graves are now being used in the city, as the siege has killed at least 2,300 people.
In a video addressed to Western leaders, authenticated by the Associated Press, Mariupol police officer Michail Vershnin said: “Children, elderly people are dying.
“The city is destroyed and it is wiped off the face of the earth.”
According to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, 4,972 people have so far fled from Mariupol.
The UN has said that 6.5million people have been displaced inside Ukraine, on top of the 3.2million people who have already fled the country.
The organisation’s latest estimates, published on March 18, show that at least 816 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the fighting began.
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