Global Independent Analytics

Victims and witnesses of Brussels attacks provide commentary

"It was atrocious. The ceilings collapsed. There was blood everywhere, injured people, bags everywhere"

It is still too soon to give final numbers on how many people have died as a result of three explosions in Brussels this morning. However, some sources indicate numbers as high as more than 20 dead and around 40 people injured.  

The panic has consumed the city and authorities have started making public statements asking people to restrain themselves from phone calls and to remain calm.

Here are some first eyewitness commentaries.

Fox News reporting: 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 blood from victims.

"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.

Alexandre Brans, 32, who was wiping blood from his face, said: "The metro was leaving Maelbeek station when there was a really loud explosion. It was panic everywhere. There were a lot of people in the metro."

Francoise Ledune, a spokeswoman for the Brussels Metro, said on BFM television that there appeared to have been just one explosion, in a car that was stopped at Maelbeek. 

Marie-Odile Lognard, a traveller who was lining up in the departures hall for a flight to Abu Dhabi, told BFM television that people panicked after the first explosion about 20 meters from her and that a second explosion about 15 seconds later caused parts of the ceiling to collapse.

"I knew it was an explosion because I've been around explosions before," said Denise Brandt, an American woman interviewed by Sky television.

"I felt the explosion, the way it feels through your body. And we just looked at each other and I said let's go this way. It was over there. There was just this instinct to get away from it. Then we saw people running, crying, toward us. So I knew we were going in the right direction and away from it. "

Marc Noel, 63, was about to board a Delta flight to Atlanta, to return to his home in Raleigh, North Carolina.

A Belgium native, Noel says he was in an airport shop buying automobile magazines was the first explosion occurred about 50 yards away.

"People were crying, shouting, children. It was a horrible experience," he told AP. He said his decision to buy the magazines might have saved his life. "I don't want to think about it, but I would probably have been in that place when the bomb went off."

With three runways in the shape of a "Z," the airport connects Europe's capital to 226 destinations around the world and handled nearly 23.5 million passengers in 2015.

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

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