Miller twins narrowly miss Moscow subway explosions
A choice as simple as blue instead of red likely kept Rochester natives Kelly and Coco Miller safe from last month's dual suicide bombings in Moscow's subway system.
Kelly Miller is playing professional basketball for WBC Spartak Moscow Region, a well-known team that includes WNBA players Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi. Miller's twin sister, Coco, lives with her in Moscow and trains with the team.
Just before 8 a.m., March 29 in Moscow, a bomb exploded on the subway, the first of two explosions that killed 37 people and left more than 100 injured, Russian officials told the Associated Press.
On most Sundays, the Millers, 31, take their regular route to church by way of the Sokolnicheskaya train, or as locals call it, the Red Line. The route allows them to avoid the city's traffic-choked streets.
On the Monday of the explosion, the Millers again used the metro but instead took the Blue Line, the Arbatsko–Pokrovskaya train.
Eight minutes after they boarded the Blue Line train, the first explosion ripped through a train on the Red Line.
"We couldn't believe it; it was surreal," said Kelly, by phone from Spain, where she is competing in a basketball tournament.
While the pair arrived only minutes before the blast, they didn't hear about it until they returned home on a different subway route much later, after being called by their worried mother, Kathy.
The twins' mother in Arizona watched the TV news Sunday night and recognized the stop as one that her twin daughters frequent.
"I called the house right away and there was no answer; and my heart just dropped," said Kathy Miller, who was staying in Arizona at the time. "I just kept calling; it was about 1:30 [a.m.] and Kelly answered the phone. ... That was a long time."
When she finally reached her daughters, the twins were shocked.
"Kelly replied, 'Why? What's the matter?' They knew nothing about it," Kathy Miller said.
For the duration of their time in Moscow — the Millers are both signed to the WNBA's Atlanta Dream and start WNBA training camp May 2 — the Millers plan to endure Moscow's gridlocked traffic rather than walk down into the metro. The players are provided with a car service and most of the players use that instead of the subway already.
"We were really familiar with that [subway] line," Kelly Miller said. "But after that, I don't think we're going to be using that again this year. It's kind of scary knowing you're that close ... you try not to think about it."