Hong Kong student tells of morning panic in Brussels after attacks

Hong Kong student tells of morning panic in Brussels after attacks


Brussels Central Station was shut down right after the attack at the airport, leaving Brussels residents stranded
Photo: Christy Chan


The outside of the Brussels Central Station after it was shut down
Photo: Christy Chan

Christy Chan Oi-ling, 24, is a Hongkonger studying for a Masters of Financial Management in Vlerick Business School, in Brussels, Belgium. She spoke to Young Post about heading into the city just after the news broke of the explosions.

It was 9am, and Christy had heard that there had been an explosion at the airport. She was preparing to go to Brussels Central Station and take the Metro No. 5, a line which passes Maalbeek Station, to go to the bank. And then she heard about the Maalbeek explosion. When she reached Central Station, it had already shut down. She decided to find another way to get to the bank. 

Christy tried to find a bus somewhere around the train station that would take her in the right direction. But while there were plenty of buses, none of them were in service. There were crowds of other people, all trying to travel, and nobody knew what was going on with the public transport. 

As her mobile phone was running out of credit, she tried to top up her phone card onlilne. But she was unsuccessful: it appeared the phone lines and internet were down. 

“The Metro was shut down, bus lines were shut down, the streets were full of police," said Christy. "You couldn’t do anything, you couldn’t call your friends, it was totally panicked."

Christy added there was no way to get in or out of the city; people were stuck on the streets; there were helicopters all around; soldiers in the stations; and no shops were opened. She said nobody could do anything to help themselves. In a word, Christy says, the situation in Brussels on Tuesday morning was “crazy”.


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