Thursday 27 July 2017

Brussels attack: 'Our first reaction was...by God's grace, she is alive'

Air hostess Nidhi Chaphekar, from India, covered in blood and debris in Brussels Airport. Photo: Ketevan Kardava
Air hostess Nidhi Chaphekar, from India, covered in blood and debris in Brussels Airport. Photo: Ketevan Kardava
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

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.

"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 reporters. "The first reaction was 'she's alive, by God's grace she is alive'."

Ms 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.

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, are now trying to get to Brussels to be with her.

Mr Chaphekar added that "the last medical update we've had is that she's responding well to medication".

Irish Independent

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