Thu, Mar 23, 2017 | updated 03:44 AM IST

Nidhi Chaphekar recounts moments from Brussels airport twin blasts

Updated: Aug 20, 2016 10:25 IST

Mumbai, Aug. 20 (ANI): Brussels airport blast survivor Nidhi Chaphekar recalled her experience of how she survived the horrible attack and her determination and courage not to give up when things were falling apart.

"I heard a loud 'boom' and felt as if I was dead," recounted Jet airways crew member Chaphekar, a survivor of the March 22 Brussels airport twin blasts that claimed lives of more than 30 people.

Recollecting the incident, Chaphekar told ANI, "When I reached at level two and went a little further, my colleague Amit and I heard a loud sound and it seemed as if somebody had busted a big cracker. There was smoke in the air and it seemed as if things were flying from beneath like feathers. But, actually, they were clothes of people, which we realised later."

She said in another 40-45 seconds, they heard another loud sound, after which they tried to run.

"When I turned left and took some steps forward, I saw a fireball. It threw me away. I don't remember where I had fallen, maybe somewhere at the end," she added.

Chaphekar recalled when she was almost fainting, in her subconscious mind she was thinking about her kids.

She said she was unable to breath and could only hear an echo.

"I was asking for help from God, I closed my eyes and asked God to send somebody for help and when I saw nobody is coming, I thought I have to get out of this place, and tried to drag myself, but I never lost my courage," she added.

Giving details about her injuries, she said, "In my left foot, a metal plate and a mirror piece had pierced due to which I was unable to walk. The only priority was to stop the blood loss."

She said she asked a lady to help her lie down while she kept her legs on a bench at a height so that the blood flows towards her heart.

"There was a policeman, Alen, who kept me engaging in a conversation by asking questions about my work and family so that I do not sleep, because if someone sleeps in such a condition then everything slows down. I was feeling so cold that I was shivering, as my stretcher was lying on the floor and the temperature was 3-4 degrees and there was strong wind as well," she said.

When she was taken to the hospital, she was shuttered to know that her face was burnt and she didn't want to live.

"I thought from now on, I won't be able to work and how my kids and society would accept me? Doctors consoled me. They asked me the contact number of my family. I gave them my husband's number. I had no clue if somebody would come from the Jet Airways. But the only thing I knew that I work with Jet and there was my brother Shabeer, who will definitely come to see," she concluded.

On March 22, as many as 30 people were killed in two suicide bombings as bombs ripped through check-in counters at Brussels Airport. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. A subsequent explosion at a Brussels subway station killed 16 more people.

On March 7 this year, a bomb exploded in a piece of luggage at an airport in a central Somali town, wounding three people. Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the blast. (ANI)

Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Mar. 23 (ANI): Welcoming the Election Commission of India's (ECI) move to freeze the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) election symbol, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Thursday said V.K. Sasikala's faction had tried to illegally usurp the office of party general secretary.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): The Supreme Court will today continue the hearing on the plea filed by NGO Common Cause seeking complete ban on the illegal mining across Odisha.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): The Supreme Court will today continue the hearing in connection with the plea of Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) against the Delhi High court order allowing the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to auction the Taj Mansingh Hotel, located in the Lutyen's zone.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): The Supreme Court will today hear the conspiracy charges against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti in connection with the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 (ANI): The Delhi High Court will today continue hearing Swaraj India's plea seeking allotment of common symbol to the party to contest the upcoming municipal elections in the national capital.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu)[India], Mar. 23 (ANI): Expressing disappointment over the Election Commission of India (ECI) decision to freeze the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) election symbol, former Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam said he would raise his voice legally to get back the symbol.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Mar. 23 (ANI): Soon after the Election Commission of India (ECI) decided to freeze the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) election symbol, party deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran asserted the decision would not affect them in the upcoming R.K. Nagar by-polls.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Mar. 22 (ANI): The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to freeze the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) election symbol of 'two leaves', after representatives of former Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam and former party general secretary V.K. Sasikala factions made their claims for it.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 22 (ANI): In a hair raising incident, a woman and her daughter were rescued today after they were allegedly held captive in a room by the father-in- law for more than a year.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 22 (ANI): With one woman killed and several 'catastrophically' injured in a terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament in London, United Kingdom, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday strongly condemned the attack stating that terrorism has no place in a democracy.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], March, 22 (ANI): The Congress on Wednesday lashed out at the party's veteran leader S.M. Krishna after he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that the grand-old party respected him but the former changed his allegiance for 'personal greed'.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar 22 (ANI): After Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath swore to protect women in the state and launched 'Anti-Romeo' squads to check on eve-teasing in public areas, Additional Director general of police (ADG) Daljeet Choudhary on Wednesday stated similar views to protect women from getting eve teased or molested.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], March, 22 (ANI): In wake of the ongoing Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls has been postponed to April 23.

Full Story >>

Panaji [India], Mar.22 (ANI): Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday asserted that the state Police have taken an immediate action over the issue of the murder of an Irish woman.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March, 22 (ANI): Warning the licensed slaughterhouses to comply as per rules, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minster on Wednesday said that strict action will be taken against the illegal one's and added that the main agenda of the Government is to restore law and order in the state.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) (India), Mar. 22 (ANI): After Mumbai Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan asserted that state doctors have agreed to resume work by 8 pm today, the Secretary of Indian Medical Association (Mumbai) Dr. Parthiv Sanghvi categorically denied the statement saying that doctors have not called off their strike whatsoever.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar.22 (ANI): The Centre reimbursed the claims made by the State Governments on the rehabilitation of surrendered Left Wing Extremists (LWE) cadres under the Security Related Expenditure Scheme, subject to a ceiling of Rs.2.5 lakh for higher ranked and Rs.1.5 lakh for middle/ lower ranked LWE cadres.

Full Story >>

Lucknow ( Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar 22 (ANI): The portfolios of Uttar Pradesh ministers has been announced today by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, keeping Home and Institutional Finance with himself.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 22 (ANI): With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerging victorious in Uttar Pradesh, it will be interesting to witness whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be able to complete the unfinished agenda of the saffron party and boldly tackle core issues like Article 370, the Uniform Civil Code and building the Ram Temple in Ayodhya before the next general elections.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 22 (ANI): The Government of India on Wednesday approved a medium and long-term reconstruction package following the Uttarakhand disaster in 2013.

Full Story >>