Brussels photographer recounts terrifying experience

  • 24/03/2016
Brussels photographer recounts terrifying experience

The journalist who took the photo that's come to define the horror of Brussels has spoken out about the horrifying moments beforehand.

It was taken at the check-in counters, seconds after the bomb exploded.

But the woman who took it did one other thing first -- she looked down to see if her own legs were still attached.

When she took the photograph, Ketevan Kardava couldn't believe she was alive, let alone still in one piece.

"It was a very strong sound. [There was an] explosion twice and then crying, people were crying and children were running and they didn't know where to run, and people were calling police and doctors. Everyone was in shock, including me." 

Ms Ketevan, a reporter for Georgian Public Television, was buying a ticket when the bombs went off.

An airport surveillance photo shows just how close she was.

"My first impression was, 'Am I in the movie?'. And in three seconds there was a second explosion. And I saw people wearing blood [and] without legs. The first thing I did was I touched my legs. I didn't believe that I have legs. I was in the state of shock."

Even so, she pulled out her iPhone and started taking pictures.

"I wanted to help them but I did not know what to do," Ms Kardava says. "I took her photo and 'Are you ok?' I asked her, but she was speechless. Nothing."

Today those who were not there held a memorial for the victims, but for a woman grateful to be alive, the memorial is seared into her soul.

"Something very important happened in my life. Very important because these pictures will be in front of me the whole life."

CBS News