Mom of Twins Who Was Flying to New York is First Confirmed Victim of Brussels Attacks
Authorities have started to name victims in the wake of Tuesday's deadly terror attacks in Brussels.
A married mother of twin daughters was the first victim identified.
Adelma Tapia Ruiz, a Peruvian who had lived in Brussels for nearly nine years, was among 11 people killed at the airport when two bombs detonated around 8 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Another bomb later detonated at Maelbeek metro station, bringing the death toll to more than 30.
Adelma Tapia Ruiz, a Peruvian who had lived in Brussels for nearly nine years, leaves behind her 3-year-old daughters and a husband (Facebook)
Ruiz, a chef in her 30s, was traveling with her 3-year-old daughters, Maureen and Alondra, to New York to see her mother, the New York Times reported. They were at the airport with her Belgian husband, Christopher Delcambe.
Ruiz’s brother, Fernando Tapia Coral, said in an interview that before the explosions, the twins had gone outside the gate area to play and Delcambe followed them. After the blast, he was unable to find his wife.
Maureen suffered shrapnel wounds to an arm, while Alondra was not hurt, according to reports.
Coral wrote on Facebook: "It is very complicated to describe this pain that we are feeling at home, but as the older brother, I know I have to try.
Brussels native Leopold Hecht, 22, was a student at Saint-Louis University in Brussels (Facebook)
"It is more difficult still to understand the way that destiny has snatched the life of a loved one, but even more incomprehensible is not being able to be close to her in this family tragedy that today knocked on the doors of my family.
"Early this morning in the Brussels airport, my sister Adelma Tapia died in the terrorist attack, unable to survive this jihadist attack that we'll never understand.
"Rest in peace little sister and strength to all of us who knew you. It will take much to assimilate that we will no longer see you in the short life that you had."
On Wednesday, a college student and a government employee were the second and third victims to be named.
Brussels native Leopold Hecht, 22, was a student at Saint-Louis University in Brussels. He was killed when Khalid El Bakraoui blew himself up on the Brussels metro.
Olivier Delespesse, who worked for the Federation of Wallonia-Brussels, was killed in Tuesday's metro bombing (Facebook)
University Rector Pierre Jadoul wrote in a Facebook post , there are "no words to describe our dismay."
"There is no word to describe our dismay in the face of this news. All our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones."
Also killed on the Metro was Olivier Delespesse, who worked for the Federation of Wallonia-Brussels. His death was confirmed by the group French Community of Belgium, of which Delespesse was a member, Sky News reports.
While other victims have not yet been named, two New York siblings are among the missing. Sascha and Alexander Pinczowski were inside the airport at the time of the bombings and haven't been heard from since, according to Facebook postings from friends.
"Please contact if you have seen them or know about their whereabouts. Please share!!!" wrote Karen Van Suijdam of the Netherlands.
At least 31 died in two attacks on the city with as many as 230 others injured.