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Brussels attack victims were from around the world

Some identified as family, friends grieve

ROME – Victims of the attacks on Brussels’ airport and subway included commuters heading to work and travelers setting off on long-anticipated vacations. In a city that’s home to international institutions including the European Union and NATO, they came from Belgium and around the world.

Brussels prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch said Saturday that 24 of the 31 victims in the Brussels attacks have now been identified.

He says 11 of them were foreigners. One was former Belgian ambassador to the United States, Andre Adam.

Of the 270 wounded, 93 are being treated at a Brussels military hospital. A doctor there said Saturday that 15 people are in a serious burn units and five are in intensive care.

Dr. Serge Jennes said he had treated similar injuries during his service in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, but that he and his colleagues have been shocked to see such injuries on women and children. He said almost all the wounded had burst eardrums.

Organizers have postponed Sunday’s march for solidarity in Belgium after the country’s interior minister appealed to residents not to attend because police are too stretched with the investigation into the attacks on Brussels’ airport and subway.

Event organizer Emmanuel Foulon said Saturday it would be held later.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon made the appeal earlier Saturday, citing the fact that Belgium’s tiny police force is stretched. The march was to take place in the Belgian capital.

Thirty-one people were killed and 270 wounded in Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels.

Among the confirmed dead:

Patricia Rizzo: Her family hails from a tiny town in Sicily, but she was as broadly European as they come.

Born in Belgium to a family originally from Calascibetta, near Enna, Sicily, Rizzo graduated from a Belgian university and worked for several Belgian companies as an executive secretary before joining European institutions in 1995.

The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed Friday that Rizzo, 48, was among the dead from the attack on the Brussels subway at Maelbeek.

“Unfortunately, Patricia is no longer with us,” a man who identified himself as Rizzo’s cousin, Massimo Leonora, wrote on Facebook. His final post capped days of anxious updates recounting his search of Brussels hospitals in hopes that Rizzo might have been among the injured.

“It’s difficult, but at least now we’re beyond this unending race against time to find you.”

Jennifer Scintu Waetzmann: She was a coach for a youth handball club in Aachen, Germany.

Her uncle, Claudio Scinto, told the German newspaper Bild that she and her husband were checking in at the American Airlines counter at Brussels Airport Tuesday morning when the first extremist bomb exploded. He told the newspaper they were going on a belated honeymoon to New York.

The blasts killed her and left her husband, Lars Waetzmann, among the 270 wounded in Brussels on Tuesday.

Elita Borbor Weah: She was heading to Rhode Island for her stepfather’s funeral and had texted family members a photo of herself Tuesday at Brussels Airport.

A short time later, two suicide bombers struck the airport, leaving Weah among their victims.

The 40-year-old had been living in the Netherlands with her 13-year-old daughter after her extended family from Liberia had dispersed across West Africa, Europe and the United States following Liberia’s civil wars.

David Dixon: He had texted family members to say he was safe after two bombs severely damaged Brussels airport, but he was killed shortly after when a bomber attacked the subway system.

Dixon, 53, a British citizen, was working as a computer programmer at the time of his death, which was confirmed Friday by Britain’s Foreign Office.

Friends and family had been searching for him since he failed to arrive at work Tuesday morning in the hours after the bomb attacks. Press reports indicated he lived in Brussels with his partner and their son.

Alexander and Sascha Pinczowski: The two Dutch nationals who lived in the U.S. were headed home when a bomb exploded at the Brussels airport Tuesday morning. Alexander, 29, was on the phone with his mother in the Netherlands when the line went dead, said James Cain, whose daughter Cameron was engaged to Alexander.

“We received confirmation this morning from Belgian authorities and the Dutch embassy of the positive identification of the remains of Alexander and Sascha from the terrorist bombing at the Brussels Airport,” Cain said on behalf of the Pinczowski family. “We are grateful to have closure on this tragic situation.”

Alexander had traveled to the Netherlands to work on a craft-related business that he and Cameron were going to start together, Cain said.

Sascha Pinczowski, 26, was a 2015 graduate of Marymount Manhattan College in New York with a degree in business. She spent last summer as an intern at a catering company, Shiraz Events.

Adelma Tapia Ruiz: Born in Peru, she dreamed of opening a restaurant. She had lived in Belgium for nine years but still cooked the recipes of her homeland, preparing the spicy chicken dish aji de gallina for a food festival organized by the Peruvian consulate in Brussels last year.

Tapia, 37, was killed when a bomb tore through the departures area of Brussels airport on Tuesday, her family confirmed. A split-second decision saved her husband and 4-year-old twin daughters Maureen and Alondra.

Her Belgian husband, Christophe Delcambe, had taken the girls out of the check-in line to play for a moment when a loud explosion ripped through the concourse. One daughter was struck in the arm by shrapnel and is being treated in a local hospital.

Leopold Hecht: He was gravely wounded in the bombing at Maelbeek subway station and died later of his injuries.

The rector of Saint-Louis University in Brussels, Pierre Jadoul, said Hecht, 20, was “one of the unfortunate victims of these barbaric acts.”

Classmates lit handles and left flowers outside the university in memory of Hecht, whose Facebook profile includes pictures of a smiling young man on the ski slopes and in the great outdoors.

Mar 26, 2016
Belgian authorities issue arrest warrant for new suspect
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