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Brussels Airport Blasts Sow Confusion, Fear Among Travelers


Passengers leave the premises after attacks on the Brussels airport, March, 22, 2016. (N.deVries/VOA)

Passengers leave the premises after attacks on the Brussels airport, March, 22, 2016. (N.deVries/VOA)

The wailing of sirens was all that could be heard on the streets of Brussels on Tuesday morning.

Canadian traveler Salome Corbo had just checked her first bag for her flight to Montreal when she heard a blast and felt a vibration. It was not close by, she says, but then there was another blast.

Corbo says she didn't fall, but tripped a bit and then saw the ceiling fall, all around just behind her.

From there, she dropped her other suitcase and ran. She could hear screaming, and followed the movements of everyone being evacuated.

Corbo, who works as an actress in Montreal, had been in an acting workshop in France and was traveling home via Brussels. She says it's scary to have something like this happen in Europe, but it seems to be the norm now. Especially with the Islamic State attack on Paris last November.

Passengers wait outside after being evacuated from Brussels airport, March 22, 2016. (N.deVries/VOA)

Passengers wait outside after being evacuated from Brussels airport, March 22, 2016. (N.deVries/VOA)

Mabinty Kabia, who originally hails from Sierra Leone, had been sleeping in the departures terminal, waiting for her next flight back to the United Kingdom where she lives.

She was awakened by the alarm instructing everyone to leave.

After passengers were evacuated, they waited by a DHL office just outside the airport, still uncertain of their fate. She says she was scared and confused.

"To be honest at the beginning, I cried," Kabia said.

These attacks, she says, have made her afraid to travel.

But not everyone feels that way.

John Weozni of Denmark was supposed to go to Nice on holiday, and says he will not let these attacks scare him.

Stranded passengers wait in an arena near Brussels airport after the explosions, March 22, 2016. (N. deVries/VOA)

Stranded passengers wait in an arena near Brussels airport after the explosions, March 22, 2016. (N. deVries/VOA)

"We have plans to go to USA in June, with the whole family, we don't think we should change that plan," he said.

Passengers were eventually transported by buses to a sports arena, where relief workers offered them water and sandwiches. Mattresses were available for people wanting to rest.

Some airlines have offered passengers complimentary hotels.

It is not clear when flights will resume.

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