Brussels victims from around the world

26th March 2016, Comments 0 comments

Among the 31 people killed in the Brussels attacks were citizens of almost a dozen countries, among them Dutch siblings who had phoned a relative just as the bombs went off.

Reflecting the cosmopolitan nature of Brussels, the symbolic capital of Europe, victims came from as far afield as Morocco, Peru, China and the United States, as well as neighbouring France and the Netherlands.

At least two Americans died and several others were reported missing in the attacks, US officials said.

Sascha and Alexander Pinczowski, Dutch siblings who had been living in New York for years, were preparing to board a plane home when two suicide bombers struck at Brussels airport on Tuesday morning.

Alexander was talking to his mother when the call was suddenly cut short by an explosion, said James Cain, former US ambassador to Denmark and the father of Alexander's fiancee.

They were among three Dutch casualties of the attacks. Local media named the third as Elita Weah, 41, who was travelling to her stepfather's funeral in the United States.

British computer programmer David Dixon, a 51-year-old Brussels resident, had texted his aunt to reassure her he was safe after the airport blasts.

But he went missing and media reports said he appeared to have been on the metro system when a suicide bomber blew himself up about an hour after the airport attacks.

Dixon's family said the news was "terrible and devastating", and Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted his condolences.

- 'I miss you' -

London said seven other Britons were injured, three of whom were still in hospital, among an estimated 300 injured in the attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.

Another victim was 48-year-old Italian Patricia Rizzo, who had been working in Brussels for several months for the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA) and was killed in the metro.

Rome confirmed her death and her cousin Massimo Leone paid tribute to her on Facebook, posting photos and the message: "Patricia, I miss you, we all miss you."

In Paris, the government announced that a Frenchman had died and 12 other citizens were injured, three of them seriously.

The Chinese embassy in Belgium also said a Chinese citizen had been killed, without giving details.

Belgian student Bart Migom, 21, had been travelling to see his American girlfriend in the United States when he was killed, his college confirmed.

"His parents told us this morning that he died immediately, he was really close to the spot," a spokeswoman told AFP.

Two other Belgian victims had earlier been confirmed -- civil servant Olivier Delespesse, and 20-year-old law student Leopold Hecht, who were reportedly killed in the metro blast.

A German citizen from Aachen was also among the dead, according to police.

Madrid confirmed the death of a Spanish woman with Italian and German nationality, who El Pais newspaper suggested could be the German victim.

Jennifer Garcia Scintu, 29, had reportedly been on her way to New York with her German husband, who was injured.

A Moroccan citizen was also among the dead in the metro, but has not yet been identified.

Sweden said a Swedish woman in her 60s was among those killed at Zaventem airport.

- Miraculous escape -

Earlier this week, the Peruvian foreign ministry confirmed the death of 37-year-old Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz, a Belgium resident, in the airport attack.

Her husband and twin daughters had a miraculously lucky escape as he had run off after them as they played.

The process of identifying the victims is painstakingly slow, complicated by the violence of the explosions and because many of the victims were from overseas.

"The number of non-identified people is very, very exceptional," federal police spokesman Michael Jonnois told AFP earlier this week.

"It was an 'open' catastrophe, there was no list of who was in the train or at the airport terminal -- there was no passenger list like when there's a plane crash," he said.

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© 2016 AFP

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