First victims of Brussels bombings identified as Peruvian woman, Belgian student

Published March 23rd, 2016 - 04:00 GMT
A man reacts as people gather to observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the Brussels airport and metro bombings, on the Place de la Bourse in central Brussels, on March 23, 2016, a day after the triple blasts killed some 30 people and left around 250 injured. (AFP/Aurore Belot)
A man reacts as people gather to observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the Brussels airport and metro bombings, on the Place de la Bourse in central Brussels, on March 23, 2016, a day after the triple blasts killed some 30 people and left around 250 injured. (AFP/Aurore Belot)

A Belgian university student and a Peruvian woman married to a Belgian are among the first to be confirmed dead following the terrorist attacks in Brussels, while identification efforts continue for other victims.

"Dear students, it is with immense sadness that I inform you of the death of Leopold Hecht," the Dean of Saint-Louis University, Pierre Jadoul, wrote on a Facebook message Wednesday, adding that Hecht was a law student.

The Peruvian Foreign Ministry said "compatriot Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz" died in Zaventem airport attack. Belgian media said she leaves behind twin daughters aged 3, as well as her husband.

Reports of other victims are still being confirmed.

Jewish Orthodox news site JSS News wrote that Israeli Yossef Haim ben Haya Sarah Gittel died at the airport, while the Italian government suspects that an Italian woman died at Maelbeek metro station.

"The prime minister informed us that they are verifying a possible Italian victim," centrist lawmaker Maurizio Lupi said after a government coalition meeting Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

"She was a woman who used to regularly take the metro and who should be among the victims of the metro [attack] but the violence of the blast has made victims unrecognizable," Lupi said.

Over the last 24 hours, Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur warned that identifying victims would "take some time."

The Belgian Foreign Ministry said there were more than 40 nationalities among the dead and injured.


© 2022 dpa GmbH

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