'People are scurrying around' – SA student on Belgium blasts

2016-03-22 15:12
South African, Sheena Rajkumar who has lived in Belgium for 8 years says the country is in disarray. (Picture: Supplied)

South African, Sheena Rajkumar who has lived in Belgium for 8 years says the country is in disarray. (Picture: Supplied)

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Durban – A South African student living 15 minutes away from where the first explosion rocked Belgium this morning, was not surprised at what was believed to be a terrorist attack.

Two bombs hit Brussels Airport's departure hall this morning at the American Airlines desk. At least 13 people have reportedly died in that incident, while 35 were reported injured.

A third bomb went off at Maelbeek metro station near the EU building in the city. At least 10 people have reportedly been killed in that incident.

From cellphone coverage to public transport, 31-year-old philosophy student Sheena Ramkumar said the country was in disarray.

Speaking to News24, Ramkumar, who has lived in the country since 2008, described how people were "scurrying" to get themselves as far away as possible from the city.

"The entire metro is on lockdown and many people have been using the internet to ensure their loved ones are safe. Many of my friends are using the Facebook safety tool to get this message out. Mobile communication seems to be disrupted."

Ramkumar said she was in class when the news reached her.

"We were in our lecture room and phones and electronic devices went off. Most of the information we have been receiving has come from the internet."

According to Ramkumar, the attacks were not surprising. She said the capture of one of the Paris terror attack leaders last week seemed to have sparked the retaliation.

"The country has been on a terror alert for some time. Seeing a heavy police presence at the train station has become somewhat common. I’ve lived here for eight years and before last year it was never like this.

"It is not the sort of place where you have to continually look over your shoulder."

Ramkumar said the attacks had not deterred her from going to class at the University of Leuven.

"I will be trying my best to head to class this afternoon. We cannot let them win."

Read more on:    belgium  |  brussels attacks

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