A father from Zamalka in East Ghouta, near Damascus, explains to a citizen journalist how — thanks to his quick actions and the location of a safe room in his home — he and his family managed to survive the August 21 chemical attacks, even though almost everyone in his street died.

Zamalka was one of the sites in East Ghouta hit by the chemical attacks.

View Larger Map\

The man relates:

When we knew that a chemical attack had happened, our vision got blurry and we started coughing.

We were 23 people here in the house. I told them to come in here and they entered the place,and I close the door here. This room is in a closed corner. I closed the door and sealed it with Scotch tape, it’s still there. I also closed it at the bottom with wet rags. I gave them wet rags with vinegar to put on their faces.

We stayed here for about two hours before we got out. Thank God, we are fine.

— Did you all survive? Nobody died?

None, thank God.

— How far were you from the nearest chemical rocket?

About a hundred meters…. Almost everybody in this street was killed. Those who survived are still suffering. I guess around only a couple of people survived… Thank God this room is a closed corner and nothing gets inside. We sealed the door as you saw, and thank God we are fine.