Dutch woman speaks out after being hurt in Brussels Airport attack
"The huge blow threw everyone to the ground. When I woke I saw people screaming, bloodied faces and chaos. It was just like in a movie", 29 year old Lennie Wagemans from Horst told RTL Nieuws. She and a friend, Hanneke, were at Zaventem airport in Brussels on Tuesday when suicide bombers attacked.
Lennie and Hanneke were waiting in line for a flight to New York for vacation when there was an explosion about 50 meters away. It came out of nowhere. "Everyone around me was on the ground. When I awoke it was dusty and everything looked very vague. I heard screams, saw people with bloodied faces. My ears were ringing due to the gigantic bang." Lennie looked for Hanneke and found her a short distance away, completely dazed. "I walked to Hanneke and embraced her. God, was I relieved that she was okay."
"Everywhere were people. Fortunately I saw no deaths. Next to us in a hallway lay a few women who were in shock. They stood with their entire body shaking. You could hear deafening screams. There were kids. We helped a woman. Her coat was on fire, we put out the flames. And we helped a woman who fell", Lennie told RTL.
The two managed to make their way outside, where they also found panic. "One girl was crying at the exit. She wanted to call her mother to tell her she was safe, but lost her phone. I gave her my phone." Lennie said. They too made contact with friends and family, though many did not even know what happened yet. Their parents came to pick them up. "At a time like this you want to go home. The holiday is no longer important. New York will come again. Besides, we cannot leave: our passports are still in the departure hall."
Lennie suffered some bumps and bruises and injured her knee. Hanneke has a broken nose and a hole in her eardrum. "And our hair is completely scorched. It does not look good." They did not have to go to the hospital, just went to see their doctors and then home.
"It's all so much. I still have to process it in my head", Lennie said. "I am very grateful that it worked out like this (for us, ed). It's terrible that so many people died."
At least 34 people died and some 260 were injured in the three bombings at the airport and Maalbeek metro station, according to local media.