awful things

Hundreds of Brussels Attack Survivors Are Still Stranded in a Belgian Warehouse

A group of airport workers pays tribute to the victims of the attack. Photo: YORICK JANSENS

A warehouse near Brussels’s Zaventem airport is usually used to store goods for export, but following the terror attacks at the airport on Tuesday, it now houses survivors. According to BuzzFeed, hundreds of people who survived the bombings are stranded there until further notice, their travel plans hopelessly derailed. They were reportedly due to board flights to Houston, London, Detroit, New Delhi, and other cities when the bombers struck, and now they’re struggling to make contingency plans. A few have paid taxi drivers to be driven to the nearest airport outside of Brussels, but that’s an option not everyone can afford.

No one is sure when they’ll be able to leave — airlines have reportedly warned passengers they could be stuck there for the rest of the week without their personal belongings. “We were told to leave everything behind; we have no bags, no medicine,” Dibdi Shah, a 58-year-old woman, told BuzzFeed. “Some people don’t even have their passports — they just ran. We also haven’t showered; we don’t have any clothes. There’s just too many people here now. I really don’t think they were prepared for something like this.”

Red Cross workers are supplying food and first aid while passengers wait to be seen at makeshift airline help desks. One man’s airline told him they were “prioritizing” American and Canadian travelers because they’re “easier to deal with.”

At least one group of travelers can’t leave the warehouse for fear of arrest — they’d been catching a connecting flight in Brussels but don’t hold any of the proper visa documents that would permit them to stay on Belgian soil. “If we try to get another flight, we could be arrested,” explained one man, who chose to remain anonymous. “We can’t go to Frankfurt like the others.”

Belgian authorities are still searching for one suspect who’s also believed to be connected to the Paris attacks, and two suicide bombers have been identified as brothers. So far one arrest has been made in connection to the attacks, although the suspect’s identity is still unknown. 

Hundreds Still Stranded in Belgian Warehouse