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September 26, 2023

Two SMU students traveling in Brussels reported okay


Update 3:34 p.m.:

A memorial in Brussels for those who were attacked during the terrorist attacks March 22. Photo credit: Tate Kirby

Two SMU students were visiting Brussels March 22.  Friends Tate Kirby and Colton Donica decided to take a trip to Brussels while they were studying abroad in Scotland. Then, the attacks struck.

“It’s surreal to be in a community affected by these kinds of attacks and it leaves me wondering what drives people to strap a bomb to themselves in order to attack innocents, and what it would take to stop that in the future,” Kirby said. “It was so frightening. There were people with machine guns in military uniforms patrolling the streets.”

Kirby let her family and friends know she and Donica was OK by posting on her Facebook.

Hello everyone I am okay and so is Colton Donica we will be leaving Brussels tomorrow. Please pray for those affected by this tragedy.

Posted by Tate Kirby on Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Original Story, posted at 10:15 a.m.:

Brussels, Belgium was attacked today in a series of attacks. Brussels’ international airport was hit twice by bombings, followed by an attack on a subway station near the European Union headquarters.

Officials said at least one of the two airport explosions was set off by a suicide bomber, the New York Times reports. 14 people were killed at the airport along with 20 on the subway station, with almost 200 wounded at both locations, the Times reports.

Salah Abdeslam, Europe’s most wanted criminal, was captured in Brussels Friday. He allegedly is one of ten men involved in the Paris attacks that killed 130 people Nov. 13. Abdeslam told investigators he and his network were planning new attacks before he was captured, according to the Associated Press.

“We were fearing terrorist attacks, and that has now happened,” Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium said at a news conference.

World leaders such as British Prime Minister David Cameron, President Obama and French President François Hollande expressed condolences for Belgium and the whole of Europe and condemned the senseless acts of terror. Pope Francis expressed his condolences, as well.

All flights to and from Brussels Airport were canceled for the day, and flights in the air were diverted. Subway, tram and bus travel was shutdown.

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