Brussels Airport baggage handler named as 'hero' after pulling wounded people to safety during attacks

'The hero doesn't care about your religion, the hero is just a good human being'

Jess Staufenberg
Wednesday 23 March 2016 10:07

A luggage handler has emerged as a hero in the Brussels attacks after witnesses told how he pulled seven wounded people to safety.

Alphonse Lyoura, an airport baggage security officer at Zaventem Airport in Brussels, did not flee the scene when two bomb blasts erupted in the departures area on Tuesday but began to help the injured, according to the BBC.

After hearing the first bomb explode while he was wrapping bags, Mr Lyoura stayed where he was and heard another explosion about two minutes later.

Video shows immediate aftermath inside Brussels airport terminal

He said he saw people whose legs were destroyed in the blast or had sustained awful injuries.

"I helped at least six or seven wounded people. We took out some bodies that were not moving. It was total panic everywhere," he told Agence France Presse.

"I saw people lying on the ground covered in blood who were not moving."

"At least six or seven people's legs were totally crushed. A lot of people lost limbs.

"One man had lost both legs and there was a policeman with a totally mangled leg."

His actions were applauded by witnesses otherwise appalled by the actions of suicide bombers who killed at least 30 people and injured dozens more in the Belgian capital.

A Twitter user quoted famous late US television personality Fred Rogers who once said to look for the "helpers" during terrible events.

"'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' Thank you Alphonse," she wrote.

Another said: "Alphonse you've just exposed their failure. If one of us still selflessly help others, they haven't won. They will never win."

One Twitter user said terrorism showed "who the real heroes were".

"Terrorists create heroes. The hero doesn't care about your religion, the hero is just a good human being."

Pictures of Mr Lyoura showed him in his fluorescent uniform with blood stains on his trousers and on his hands.

He told AFP he heard Arabic shouting before the two bomb blasts. The attackers have been identified as Khalid and Brahmin el-Bakraoui by Belgian broadcaster RTBF, and Isis has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

A second bomb exploded at Maelbeek metro station about one hour after the first explosion at Zaventem Airport.

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