Some Azovstal plant evacuees head to Zaporizhzhia

STORY: Buses with evacuees from the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol travelled to the Ukrainian city Zaporizhzhia on Monday (May 2).

The convoy was led by the International Committee for the Red Cross from Bezimenne village.

One evacuee, Yelena, said she had been sheltering at the factory since February.

"The soldiers came and escorted the first 11 people out, those who were seriously ill, had asthma or needed insulin, and also three of us, randomly. More than 40 people, including little children are left there."

Azovstal has been a hideout for hundreds of Ukrainian troops and civilians after Russia's incursion into Mariupol.

The United Nations and Red Cross began an operation on April 29 to rescue women, children and the elderly sheltering there.

Eyewitness video showed civilians emerging from the factory's rubble on Sunday and led to waiting coaches.

Efforts to evacuate more civilians from Mariupol ran into delays on Monday and hundreds of people were still trapped in Azovstal.

It was not clear what was causing the hold-up of a convoy made up of civilians from the city itself.

An aide to the mayor said Russian forces had resumed shelling the steel works on Sunday after the earlier convoy of buses had left from that location.

Russia has focused on Ukraine's south and east after it failed to capture Kyiv in the early weeks of the conflict.

Thousands of civilians have died and 5 million have fled the country.

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