'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)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

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

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.