Bombings in Brussels and Maelbeek kill 28, spark concern from students
By LINDSEY AYLOR
On Tuesday March 22 during rush hour in Brussels, two bombs rocked the city’s airport, as well as the prominent subway station of Maelbeek. Both explosions have been confirmed as having been carried out by suicide bombers.
Upon further search of the city, police found another bomb along with an Islamic state flag in a nearby apartment. These explosions, accompanied by the police searches, have caused a shut down on the city, including the subway line.
There were 28 reported dead from the bombings. The three suicide bombers were not included in the final number of casualties.
While the city is at a standstill, security is being bolstered at the European Union and in Brussels’ airports and subways. The Belgian prime minister has asked residents to “avoid all movement” as the authorities search and prepare for the possibility of continued violence. This lockdown was intended to last through Wednesday March 23 with transportation returning to normal at the latest by Thursday. With this lock down and terror threat, support from all over the world is being shown for Brussels.
“Condolences are coming in from around the world. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, the World Trade Center in New York and other monuments were to be lit with the colors of Belgium’s flag,” according to Victoria Shannon of The New York Times. With these gestures of support, it is clear that the world is standing strong with Brussels in their time of need; especially when victims are starting to be identified and Brussels’ nationwide mourning period is beginning.
Brussels prime minister has declared a three-day mourning period, as well as a national minute of silence at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. During this time, victims will be remembered and honored, such as Peruvian Adelma Tapia Ruiz, 37, one of the first victims to be identified.
“She had been at Zaventem airport with her Belgian husband and twin four-year-old daughters, who were unharmed,” her brother told BBC. Sadly, Ruiz is just one of dozens of victims that are being identified during this time.
With this tragedy, many UMW students are shocked and sympathetic. “I’m sad but concerned as well because we heard nothing about the bombings in Turkey that happened a few days before, so it’s concerning that we are only reacting now that there has been a second country bombed,” said junior English major Kate Chisholm.
The bombings have raised concerns about the United States’ response as well as what will be done in the future to prevent these attacks.
“It’s a horrible thing that has happened and is continuing to happen,” said sophomore economics major Sarah Manugo. “As a nation we need to take this seriously and to tie into the upcoming election we need a candidate who is going to be more proactive than reactive.”
The concerns raised by students reflect the concern shared by many in the United States as to how it will respond to these recent terror threats.