Brussels Airport Bombing Survivor Describes Explosion: 'Like the End of the World in One Second'
Fanny Klein, 20, from Mont limar, France, was scheduled to travel to an assignment in Ohio when the bombs went off
A Mormon missionary who was injured in the Brussels Airport bombings alongside American missionaries Mason Wells, Richard Norby and Joseph Empey described the moment the explosions struck as “like the end of the world in one second.”
“I didn’t even have time to look around me because we had just arrived in the waiting line,” Fanny Klein, 20, from Mont limar, France, told Belgian TV network HLN from the Stuivenberg Hospital where she is being treated for burns to her face and limbs.
“I didn’t hear a word and then all at once, this enormous noise, like the end of the world in one second,” she said.
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She added: “I found myself on the ground and there was blood everywhere. Everything was gray. I was covered in something brown… I got up and got out as quickly as possible.”
Despite the force of the explosion inside Departure Hall 1 of Zaventem Airport, Klein managed to stay on her feet. But she soon realized the extent of her injuries.
“People told me I was burned,” she continues. “I didn’t understand. I got to a mirror and I saw I was half burned but I didn’t want to look too closely… But in my legs I didn’t feel that.”
Klein found help soon afterwards and was transported to a hospital. She has since received treatment for extensive burns to her face and limbs.
Fellow missionary Wells, 19, from Utah is also receiving treatment in a hospital for burns and a foot injury.
“We have spoken to him briefly and he feels blessed that he wasn’t injured more given his close proximity to the bomb,” Wells’s parents said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “He has undergone surgery to repair his Achilles heel and he’s also been treated for burns and shrapnel injuries.”
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Wells’s colleague, Empey, was also injured in the explosion. His grandfather told PEOPLE he sustained injuries to his leg and ankle during the bombing.
Despite his injuries, the “fun-loving, twenty-year-old boy” is still laughing and is in good spirits, his grandfather says.
“We’re so happy he’s going to be okay,” he adds. “All we can do is wait and see at this point.”
This is an emotion that’s shared by Klein. Despite the three suicide bombings on Tuesday at Brussels’s Zaventem airport and at Maelbeek metro station, which killed at least 31 people and injured at least 270, she is determined to stay positive.
“I can’t spend my entire days crying,” she said.