Brussels attacks: Taxi driver recalls blood-covered toddler, crying over fallen mom
BRUSSELS — There in the flood of ceiling tiles that covered the departure terminal floor sat the toddler.
The girl was covered in blood, crying and perched on another victim. Her mother, probably. The woman appeared to be dead.
“Those images stayed with me in my mind, and I keep seeing the girl crying, crying, crying. She is just a girl,” said Francisco Izquierdo, a taxi driver who had gone into Departure Hall 1 at Brussels Airport.
Izquierdo told CNN that he was told by police not to take the girl away. It would be easier to identify the girl, if she was next to her mom.
Izquierdo knew his son, an airport cafe employee, was inside when the bombs had exploded and he went inside to look.
He couldn’t believe what he saw in the terminal and took out his phone to record the devastation.
In the video, small fires still burn as emergency workers spray hissing fire extinguishers.
The vast terminal is quiet, except for the agonizing wailing of a man we cannot see. A high-pitched alarm — the kind you might hear from an electric cart that carries passengers to their gates — rings.
Only a few people are in the lobby. First responders work their way through the debris, searching, finding other bodies under the rubble. Most of the survivors have evacuated.
Belgian officials have said 10 people were killed Tuesday at the airport. Another 21 people died in an attack at a subway station. At the two sites at least 270 people are wounded.
As Izquierdo treks through the hall and across the disastrous results of the twin bombing, he finds an older woman who needs help. She has a cut on her hand. She is distraught, seems lost. He leads her outside.
It is an ugly scene. People are lying on the sidewalk. What looks like one body is alone; it appears to have its face covered.
Each of the wounded has a person kneeling beside them. One woman clutches a victim’s hands.
Izquierdo went back inside but he never found his son. The bistro is deserted.
Later, he talked to his wife and daughter. They told him his son had survived and was OK. He left the airport as people ran from the site of the bombings and took a co-worker to the hospital.