Woman in Brussels attacks photo is Indian flight attendant

In this photo provided by Georgian Public Broadcaster and photographed by Ketevan Kardava two women wounded in Brussels Airport in Brussels, Belgium, after explosions were heard Tuesday, March 22, 2016. A developing situation left at least one person and possibly more dead in explosions that ripped through the departure hall at Brussels airport Tuesday, police said. All flights were canceled, arriving planes were being diverted and Belgium's terror alert level was raised to maximum, officials said. (Ketevan Kardava/ Georgian Public Broadcaster via AP)

NEW DELHI (AP) — A woman sitting bloodied and dazed just moments after the Brussels airport bombings was one of the most haunting images from the attacks.

The woman’s family in India saw the photo after Tuesday’s blasts. They identified her as Nidhi Chaphekar, a 40-year-old Jet Airways flight attendant and mother of two from Mumbai.

MORE: Complete coverage of Brussels attacks

“We were searching through the Internet to try and get details of the blasts when we saw the pics,” her brother-in-law Nilesh Chaphekar told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “The first reaction was ‘she’s alive. By God’s grace she is alive.'”

Nidhi Chaphekar’s yellow uniform was apparently shredded from the force of one of the blasts. Her hair was caked with soot, and blood streaked down her face. Another woman in the photo is frantically making a phone call with a bloodied hand.

Chaphekar, who has worked for Mumbai-based Jet Airways for two decades, sat with one leg stretched across airport seating while the other dangled over the floor. A bloodied right foot was raised just enough so it wasn’t hitting shards of broken glass scattered across the floor.

But it was the look of shock and numbness on her face that captured the horror of the attacks, leading many around the world to share the photo on social media sites with the #PrayForNidhi hashtag.

Her family, including her husband, 11-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, is now trying to get to Brussels to be with her. But Brussels airport remains closed.

“We’ve got visas now, but we are still not sure exactly what route we should take to reach her as soon as possible,” Nilesh Chaphekar said. “We are trying to figure out the nearest airport we can fly into.”

He added that the “the last medical update we’ve had is that she’s responding well to medication. We have been told there are some fractures and burns but we don’t know the extent.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s