WASHINGTON – A U.S. consular officer has visited in a Moscow hospital an American survivor of the theater hostage crisis in which at least 168 people died, a State Department official said Sunday.
The identity of the patient, a woman, was not released for privacy reasons, the official said. Although the woman was hospitalized, the official said she was not injured.
"We are still continuing to determine the whereabouts of possibly one or two other Americans," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Russian special forces troopers ended the 2-day takeover before dawn Saturday with a raid on the theater shortly before the hostage-takers, rebels from Russia's embattled Chechnya region, had threatened to begin killing their more than 850 hostages. Russian officials reported 750 were rescued, many wounded.
The rebels killed one hostage early in the takeover. The Russian news agency Interfax reported Sunday that Moscow's chief physician, Andrei Seltsovsky, said all but one of the 117 captives killed Saturday were victims of a knockout gas pumped through the building before the soldiers came in. About 50 of the Chechen hostage-takers died in the military action, some shot in the head as they lay apparently incapacitated by the gas.
The White House had no immediate comment Sunday on the report about the high toll from the gas in the retaking of the theater.