The Peruvian Government has named Adelma Tapia Ruiz as a victim of the attacks at Zaventem Airport. March, 22, 2016. (Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz/Facebook)
By NAN Contributor
News Americas, LONDON, England, Thurs. Mar. 24, 2016: At least two Latin American-born nationals have become victims of the horrific Brussels terror attacks that claimed the lives of at least 34 people and at least 270 injured.
As details emerged Wednesday on the victims, it was revealed that one of the dead is a national of Peru while one of the wounded is a national of Brazil.
Peru’s Foreign Ministry said among the dead is national Adelma Tapia Ruiz, 36.
Tapia was killed at the airport where the first bombs exploded. One blast went off at 7:58 a.m. near Lane 11 in the departure hall and the second went off nine seconds later near Lane 2. Ruiz, according to her brother, Fernando Tapia who spoke to Peruvian radio station RPP, was dropped off at the airport by Belgian husband, Christophe Delcambe and their twin 4-year-old daughters, as she was set to fly to New York to meet her sisters. He said Adelma Tapia Ruiz had planned to return to Peru this year before setting up a Peruvian restaurant in Brussels.
Writing on Facebook, Mr Tapia called his sister’s death “incomprehensible.”
“It is very complicated to describe this pain that we are feeling at home, but as the older brother, I know I have to try,” he wrote. “It is more difficult still to understand the way that destiny has snatched the life of a loved one, but even more incomprehensible is not being able to be close to her in this family tragedy that today knocked on the doors of my family. Rest in peace little sister and strength to all of us who knew you. It will take much to assimilate that we will no longer see you in the short life that you had.”
The other Latin American victim is Brazilian national Sebastien Bellin, 37. However, Bellin managed to survive the attack.
Brazilian national Sebastien Bellin is the second Latin American victim of the Brussels terror attack but he has survived.
Bellin, a father of two and 6-foot-10 basketball player with the Oakland University and the Belgian national team, was thrown 6 feet into the air by the airport blast and injured by shrapnel in his left leg and right hip, his father, Jean Bellin told the BBC.
Bellin, lying bloodied on the ground after the attack in the airport and dressed in dark clothing, appeared to be conscious, with ash covering his face and blood around his legs in a photo that emerged after the attack.
The Belgian team tweeted the photograph and well-wishes.
“We wish our former player Sebastien Bellin … much strength and a speedy recovery,” the Belgian club said. In a follow-up tweet, the club said Bellin had undergone his first surgery after being thrown in the blast.
OU basketball coach Greg Kampe also sent out a Tweet on Bellin Tuesday writing: “My ex player Seb Bellin was injured in the Brussels bombing,” Kampe tweeted, using a nickname for Bellin. “Going for second surgery. Please pray for Seb.”
Bellin now works for the Belgium basketball agency and commutes between Europe, New York City and west Michigan, where his wife and two young children live.
Meanwhile, at least a dozen US citizens were wounded, a US State Department spokesman said.