Vietnamese diplomat narrowly escapes death in Brussels attack

By Tran Quoc Thoai   March 23, 2016 | 04:24 am PT
Vietnamese diplomat narrowly escapes death in Brussels attack
Injured people are seen at the scene of explosions at Zaventem Airport near Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2016. : Reuters
A Vietnamese diplomat narrowly escaped death when a bomb exploded at a Brussels train station on Tuesday.

The woman, who did not want to be named, told the Vietnam News Agency that she was on her way to work when the train arrived at Maelbeek station at 09:10 a.m.

“I received a short message from my friend warning me to be careful as there had been an explosion at Brussels airport,” she said.

"Still in a daze after hearing the news, I suddenly heard a loud bang in the last car. Then the power was cut and smoke and a burning smell blanketed the area,” she said.

“Looking through the door, I saw a man with a broken leg attempting to drag himself across the tracks to the opposite side,” she added.

“A girl began crying in fear, while some passengers sat down to avoid toxic fumes."

“A passenger then smashed the broken glass door to make an escape, and once I was out of the car I saw blood scattered around the place.”

But she continued to move toward the exit through the dense black smoke.

“I saw the ticket gate, and rushed in that direction without seeing anything until I stumbled into a wall. It was then I felt the cold air flowing on my left and knew I was close to the exit of the station,” she said.

“Then I found the stairs leading up to the street, and tried to get to the surface only to see an extremely painful scene with many people lying covered in blood,” she said.

The Maelbeek station explosion occurred about an hour after two bombings at the Brussels airport, killing at least 34 people and leaving over 200 wounded.

Militant group Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. Belgian officials have identified three suspects, two of whom were killed in the explosions. The third man fled from the scene after failing in trigger his bomb.

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