Five years have passed since the 2016 Brussels attacks claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group. Attacks that left 35 dead and more than 300 injured. Around 8 in the morning, two explosions tore through Zaventem airport in Brussels. An hour later another suicide attack on the Maelbeek subway left similar scenes of panic and devastation.
Shrapnel in the legs and stomach
Five years have passed, and the memories remain for many survivors in the form of scars and aftermath. Shrapnel entered Laurens's stomach and legs. and he claims to have recorded that explosion in his mind
"I remember perfectly the moment of the explosion, I have recorded in my mind what I saw and heard ... it was something terrible," recalls Laurens Coessens, a survivor of the attack at Zaventem airport.
Sebastien Bellin was a professional basketball player. The attack put him to bed for four months. After thirteen operations, and several nails lodged in each fractured leg. His rehabilitation continues. However, he says that he is stronger since that day.
The resilience of a former basketball player
"Of course there are days that are not easy. It is not always a great joy not to feel the leg, or to be able to do things that before used to do naturally. the most beautiful lessons in life ", tells us Sébastien, a survivor of the Brussels attacks.
An hour and a half later, a second attack, also suicidal, took place at the Maelbeek metro station, very close to the EU institutions.
In that explosion Charlotte lost her husband, David Dixon. Now he presides over an organization that supports the Victims of Terrorism.
Charlotte, spokesperson for victims of terrorism
"Although in the association there are victims of different attacks motivated by different ideologies, our experiences are very similar. Each one has its history but there are many similarities, and one of them is precisely a kind of feeling of abandonment by the State that we do not it cares the way it promises. "said Charlotte Dixon-Sutcliffe, president of Survivors Against Terror.
Lives cut short forever and a trial postponed until 2022
That March 22 forever truncated the destiny of so many lives. The trial for the attacks has been postponed until September 2022. Ten suspects charged with "murder in a terrorist context" could face life in prison. Some of the attackers had previously attacked in Paris.
Among the suspects is the Frenchman Salah Abdeslam, the only survivor of the command that attacked in Paris.