Woman in Brussels blast photo is Indian flight attendant

By AFP   March 24, 2016 | 07:55 pm PT
Woman in Brussels blast photo is Indian flight attendant
An Indian woman who was pictured covered in dust and blood after the Brussels attacks and made newspaper front pages around the world has been identified as an Indian Jet Airways employee.

The brother-in-law of the woman, Nidhi Chaphekar, told AFP Wednesday that he and his brother were set to fly out from Mumbai to join her in Brussels where she was hospitalised

A haunting photograph of a dazed Chaphekar covered in debris, that surfaced soon after two massive suicide blasts hit Zaventem Airport, became one of the most widely published images of the bombings.

The attacks, which also targeted a metro train in the city, left 31 people dead and 270 wounded.

In the photo, shared by millions on social media, the mother of two is seen in the tattered remains of her yellow Jet Airways jacket, missing a shoe and with blood running down her face.

"Depending on when the next earliest flight out of the country is, my brother and I will be leaving by tonight or tomorrow morning," the 40-year-old flight attendant's brother-in-law, Nilesh Chaphekar, told AFP by telephone.

"We haven't been able to speak to her directly yet. All we know is that she is in stable condition now. We have been kept informed by Jet (Airways)," he said, adding that "it has been a very traumatic experience".

Local media citing unnamed Jet Airways sources on Tuesday identified Chaphekar and another employee who was also hurt in the blasts as Amit Motwani.

The airlines in an official statement confirmed Tuesday that "two Jet Airways staff have sustained injuries in the explosion at Brussels airport", refraining to identify them with their full names.

"Based on latest updates from #Brussels, our colleagues Nidhi and Amit are recovering well. We look forward to welcome them home soon," the airline posted on Twitter Wednesday.

Many online have criticised the publishing and sharing of Chaphekar's photo, saying that her privacy should be respected.

"It's sad how insensitive media & SM (social media) is being, in broadcasting @jetairways's injured crew member's photo. Respect her privacy please!!!," tweeted Indian actress Gul Panag.

Separately, an Indian employee of Infosys is said to be missing in the aftermath of the attacks, the Bangalore-based software firm said Wednesday.

"We are trying to reach one employee with whom we have not been able to connect," the IT outsourcing firm said in a statement.

Infosys said it was in touch with the missing worker's family and authorities in the Belgian capital in an attempt to locate the employee.

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