WASHINGTON - D.C. resident Ashley Bruggemann, was at the Brussels airport in Belgium at the time of the terrorist attacks there, she said she was looking for a cup of coffee, and then suddenly people started to run.
Bruggemann arrived at the airport on Tuesday morning after attending an annual work conference and was headed to Copenhagen for vacation. She was supposed to leave for the airport at 7:30 am, but decided to leave at 7 am instead, planning ahead for possible traffic. That smart planning may have saved her life.
The D.C. resident had gone through security and was looking for a cup of coffee when all of the sudden a few people started running past her. “I thought they must be running for a plane,” Bruggemann explains. But then she realized more and more people started running they were panicked and crying. It was that moment she realized something was wrong.
Bruggemann was among thousands at the airport when terrorist bombs rocked the departure hall in two explosions, killing 14 at the airport. After another attack at a Brussels subway, the death toll is currently reported at 34 with at least 187 injured.
FOX5 reporter Ronica Cleary reached Bruggemann via Skype on Wednesday. She was still visibly shaken as she recounted the chaos inside the airport after the attacks.
When Bruggemann finally got out of the airport, she and her coworkers rented a van to Paris. On Wednesday morning she flew out of Paris and landed in Newark.
Once she landed she explained she “was able to see exactly what the departure hall looked like and the images from the metro station and everything and that's when it all finally just hit me of how lucky I really and truly was.”