Nikolai Khramov of Welcome Taxi in Moscow had dispatched Andrei Abrosimov, a relatively new driver, to Domodedovo to pick up a passenger arriving from Germany on a Lufthansa flight.
At 4:43 p.m., Khramov heard Abrosimov's voice, shouting on the radio: "There is an explosion! I'm covered in blood!"
It was six minutes after the blast. The first news report would not come until 5 p.m., with alerts that several people had been injured in an explosion at the airport.
"He was crying on the radio. He said he was hurt and could not pick up the passenger," Khramov said.
Khramov kept trying to call Abrosimov, reaching him at 5:34 p.m. "He said he was lying on the floor in the medical center at the airport. 'All the people are running and crying. No one has gotten to me.' "
Later, Khramov found out that Abrosimov had been taken to a hospital in Moscow with a broken arm and other injuries. He was in critical condition.
Others waiting at the airport described heavy smoke, bodies arrayed throughout the hall and blood everywhere.
"I saw a lot of smoke, a lot of police and a lot of firemen," Alexei Nefedov told Russian television. He said he was also struck by the sight of passengers from later flights continuing to exit the customs hall with their luggage, only to stumble onto a scene of devastation.
Domodedovo continued to operate, although most flights were diverted to one of Moscow's other airports or returned to their starting point.
The explosion brought expressions of solidarity from around the world.
"We stand with the victims of these crimes, and we will continue to work with the international community to combat violent extremism that threatens peace-loving people everywhere," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement. "The United States remains ready to support the Russian government as it seeks to bring these perpetrators to justice."