Brussels Attacks Survivor: 'I Couldn't Believe It Was Real' - NBC Bay Area
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Brussels Attacks Survivor: 'I Didn't Realize It Was Real'

Yassin Aanouz returned to Brussels from Thailand Tuesday when the airport was attacked

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Brussels Attacks Survivor: 'I Couldn't Believe It Was Real'
    Cassandra Vinograd
    Brussels attacks survivor Yassin Aanouz.

    Yassin Aanouz returned to Brussels on Tuesday from Thailand, where the 20-year-old was vacationing with three friends.

    Aanouz stopped to pull a cardigan out of his bag, but his travel buddies didn't wait while he layered up and went on ahead. He was looking for them in the crowded airport when he heard a boom.

    Then the second blast — a bomb, Aanouz later learned, went off only seconds later not far from where he stood.

    "I saw people with blood, people on the ground ... I could see young children crying, moms looking for their children — it's the first time I was seeing something like this, the first time," he said. "I couldn't believe it was real. I didn't realize it was real."

    Bandaged and bruised, Aanouz found himself at home in the Brussels suburb of Anderlecht with his family. While he knows his physical wounds will heal, Aanouz is worried about another less visible scar from his brush with terrorism.