Three Quinnipiac University students who were at the airport in Brussels, Belgium when two blasts went off early Tuesday morning saw a firey explosion and said they are shaken up, but safe, and at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels.
Cate Duffy, 19, of Natick, Massachusetts, Lauren Cleary, 19, of Abington, Massachusetts, and Monica Hall, 19, of Sutton, Massachusetts have been studying abroad in Cork, Ireland this semester and are on spring break, so they were heading from Brussels to go to London to see an Adele concert, when the attacks happened.
"We were probably there for about 10 minutes and we were at the check-in line, waiting to get our tickets, and we heard one of the bombs go off, but we didn't see it and we didn't really realize what was going on," Duffy said.
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Then, before they could process what happened, the second explosion went off -- right in front of them.
"It was huge. It was like a fire explosion. It shook the floor. The ceiling started falling. At that point, everyone just started running and screaming," Duffy said.
As chaos ensued, the students stayed together and got out of the airport, but Hall lost her bags and everything but her identification, tickets, a journal and her camera.
They ran until they saw a father and son in a car, waved them down and asked for help to get away from the airport.
"We all just piled into the back of his car," Cleary said. "All of us were just kind of freaking out and called our parents to tell them what is happening."
Once they arrived at the U.S. Embassy, the students said they went through some questioning.
"When we got to the U.S. Embassy and we finally got in, they closed the place down to the public," Hall said.
After waiting, a man took them to the cafeteria, gave them lunch and spoke with them and took notes, Hall said. The FBI later asked them to map out what happened.
Another Quinnipiac student, Madeleine Harder, a 20-year-old junior from Baltimore who is studying abroad in Belgium this semester, was at her internship for a media training company when the attacks happened and said she saw what happened on Twitter.
"I saw the story breaking on Twitter and them my boss got a phone call and we both looked at each other, and this was originally with the airport bombings, and we were really nervous and then we just sat there, glued to Twitter as everything was happening," she said.
She had to walk home from her ownership and other people were outside as well.
"It seems pretty somber, but people weren't completely locked up in their houses or apartments," she said.
Harder's family is visiting for the week, so she is with them and said it's comforting to have them close.
Quinnipiac University, located in Hamden, serves 6,784 full-time undergraduate and 2,884 graduate and part-time students, according to the university.
At least 31 people were killed Tuesday morning in what appear to be a series of coordinated attacks at the airport and subway, NBC News reports. Eleven people were killed at the airport, while 20 died at the subway station. More than 200 were injured.
The first blast hit the departure section of the airport around 8 a.m. local time, or 3 a.m. ET. Minutes later, a second blast shook the airport. One explosion occurred in Departure Hall 1, used by international carriers including American Airlines.
American Airlines said in a statement Tuesday all airline employees and crew members were accounted for and passengers affected by the Brussels Airport shutdown would be re-accommodated.
Less than an hour later, a subway car was hit by an explosion.