Vermonters in Brussels Airport Uninjured in Bomb Blasts

A vacationing mother and daughter said they saw a cloud of smoke and dust, and joined other passengers in going the other direction

A Vermont mother and daughter were in the airport in Brussels, Belgium when terrorist bombs exploded Tuesday, but the women were uninjured.

"It's certainly surreal," Anne Goldman of Colchester told necn by phone. "I'm happy my daughter and I, and the people around us, are safe."

More than 30 people were killed in a pair of bombings at the Brussels airport and another bombing at a subway station near the headquarters of the European Union. In the aftermath of the attacks, raids have been carried out around Belgium.

Goldman and her daughter, Hannah, had just wrapped up a European vacation and were getting ready to fly home to Vermont from Brussels. She said after the explosions, she saw a large cloud of dust and smoke.

"People started running toward us from the gate area, so we started following them," Goldman recalled.

Goldman said she and Hannah, 17, spent the day in a secure airport hangar waiting for word on how they'll get back to New England.

"The world is so much smaller now with social media and things of that nature, so things hit a little closer to home every time [tragedy] happens," Goldman said. "This time, it just hit a little too close."

Goldman said at the Brussels airport, it sure felt like someone was watching over her, keeping her and her daughter safe.

Secretary Jeh Johnson of the Department of Homeland Security echoed President Barack Obama's sentiment Tuesday that the United States will "stand in solidarity with the Belgian people in condemning the terrorist attacks that occurred this morning in Brussels, we mourn the loss of those killed, and we will do what we can to help Belgian authorities bring to justice those responsible for the attacks."

Johnson said there are no specific, credible threats of a plot regarding similar attacks in the United States.

"That said, we remain very focused on the threat posed by lone terrorist actors who may lack direct connection to a foreign terrorist organization; we are concerned that such radicalized individuals or small groups could carry out an attack in the Homeland with little warning," Johnson wrote in a statement. "We also remain very engaged in the effort to identify and disrupt foreign terrorist fighters who may seek to travel to or from the United States."

The Department of Homeland Security said it has an excellent working relationship with Belgian security officials, and regularly shares information with both European security authorities and state and local law enforcement across the country. 

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