Tuesday

20th Aug 2019

Victim recounts horror of Brussels attack

  • Victims of the blast in the metro were rushed to the local Saint-Jean clinic (Photo: Nikolaj Nielsen)

Nizier, a visibly shaken victim of the Brussels metro attack on Tuesday morning (22 March), leaves the Saint-Jean clinic where he has just been treated for his injuries.

With black soot still visible on his lower lip, he attempts to reconstruct the scene that he witnessed an hour before.

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"I saw a burned baby, a burned pregnant woman," he said.

He said the bomb exploded on the platform of the Maelbeek metro station, just one stop from the European Commission and EU Council buildings at the Schuman roundabout.

Nizier told EUobserver he saw a flash, followed by total panic as people attempted to escape.

"There were so many injuries. It was horrific. I'm in shock," he said.

He said it seemed like an "eternity" before they managed to leave the station.

Nizier, in his mid-thirties and is dressed in a business suit, declined to give his last name.

Like Nizier, the other survivors are being rushed to the Saint-Jean clinic, a hospital around 3 km from the metro attack.

Only families of the victims are allowed in to the clinic. Roughly 20 nurses and doctors flashed their badges to enter.

Florence Feys, a spokeswoman at Saint-Jean, told this website they were treating 17 people for injuries.

Three are in critical condition, four are "in a medium emergency" state, and 10 have minor injuries. One is a child whose condition was unknown.

"So far I don't think we have any deaths in the hospital," she said.

"We are prepared to have more people. One operation room is on standby, we have doctors on standby, we have nurses on standby, so that if everything happens we will have the necessary people to save lives."

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The country will "not be the same," the king of Belgium said after the attacks, claimed by Islamic State, at Brussels' Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station killed over 30 people.

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