Witnesses describe blood, dust and chaos in Brussels attacks

March 23, 2016 8:00 am

The aftermath of an explosion in the departure hall at Brussels Airport. Photo / Twitter

More than two dozen people were killed when bombs exploded in ’s capital – two at the main international airport and one on a downtown subway train near European Union headquarters. Witnesses described chaotic scenes of blood, dust and flying glass as the blasts hit transport hubs in the middle of a busy rush hour. Here are some of their accounts:
Marc Noel, 63, an entrepreneur, was awaiting a Delta Airlines flight from Brussels to Atlanta when he decided to buy some automobile magazines for the flight – an act he thinks may have saved his life.
He was in an airport shop when the first explosion struck about 50 yards (meters) away, bringing down a chunk of the ceiling.
“People were crying, shouting, children. It was a horrible experience,” said Noel, a Belgian who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. “I don’t want to think about it, but I would probably have been in that place when the bomb went off.”
He said a second blast hit 10 to 15 seconds later.
“This feel likes war – fire engines, police everywhere,” said Noel, as he and hundreds of other passengers toting their hand luggage were evacuated to the town of Zavantem.
“I was as close as I could be to the other side,” he told the AP. “It hasn’t happened yet. I guess it’s not my hour.” was awaiting a Delta Airlines flight from Brussels to Atlanta when he decided to buy some automobile magazines for the flight – an act he thinks may have saved his life.
He was in an airport shop when the first explosion struck about 50 yards (meters) away, bringing down a chunk of the ceiling.
“People were crying, shouting, children. It was a horrible experience,” said Noel, a Belgian who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. “I don’t want to think about it, but I would probably have been in that place when the bomb went off.”
He said a second blast hit 10 to 15 seconds later.
“This feel likes war – fire engines, police everywhere,” said Noel, as he and hundreds of other passengers toting their hand luggage were evacuated to the town of Zavantem.
“I was as close as I could be to the other side,” he told the AP. “It hasn’t happened yet. I guess it’s not my hour.”
Anthony Deloos, an airport worker for Swissport, which handles check-in and baggage services, said the first explosion took place near the counters where customers pay for overweight baggage. He and a colleague said the second blast hit near a Starbucks cafe.”We heard a big explosion. It’s like when you’re in a party and suddenly your hearing goes out, from like a big noise,” Deloos said, adding that shredded paper floated through the air as a colleague told him to run.”I jumped into a luggage chute to be safe,” he said.
Tom De Doncker, 21, check-in agent intern, was near the site of the second explosion.”I saw a soldier pulling away a body,” he said. “It felt like I was hit too” from the concussion of the blast.
Zach Mouzoun, who arrived on a flight from Geneva about 10 minutes before the first blast, told BFM television that the second, louder explosion brought down ceilings and ruptured pipes, mixing water with victims’ blood.”It was atrocious. The ceilings collapsed,” he said. “There was blood everywhere, injured people, bags everywhere. We were walking in the debris. It was a war scene,” he said.
Marc Noel, 63, was about to board a Delta flight to Atlanta, to return to his home in North Carolina. The Belgian native said he was in a shop buying magazines when the first explosion occurred about 46 metres away.”People were crying, shouting, children. It was a horrible experience.” His decision to shop might have saved his life. “I would probably have been in that place when the bomb went off.”
Jef Versele, 40, from Ghent, Belgium, said he was at the airport and about to check in when he heard two blasts and suddenly the air was full of broken glass.
“Everything was coming down – glassware. It was chaos, it was unbelievable. It was the worst thing,” he said.
“People were running away. There were lots of people on the ground. A lot of people are injured.”
Jordy van Overmeir had just collected his luggage after landing at the airport from Bangkok when “all of a sudden I heard a loud explosion – this boom. Initially I thought it was the sound of a suitcase falling down.”
“At this point I saw all these policemen running around, shouting and saying ‘there was an explosion,” he told Sky .
Outside the baggage claim area and the arrival hall he could “smell smoke and see glass and I saw blood.”
“Then I came outside of the airport on the parking lot and there I saw people with head wounds, people crying, more blood on the road and glass everywhere.
“There was a lot of panic, with people running around. Policemen, military everywhere. There were ambulances going around. People seemed really shocked … Everyone seems very shocked and very sad.”
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