The twin terror attacks that rocked Brussels early Tuesday tore through the lives of scores of innocent victims — and left a Mormon community in Utah reeling.
Among the seriously injured were three Mormon missionaries from the U.S. who are serving abroad in Paris, the LDS Church confirmed.
“Everybody is numb,” Irene Empey, 72, the grandmother of injured victim Joseph Dresden Empey, told The Daily News Tuesday.
Together, the synchronized slayings at the Brussels airport and a local metro station left more than 30 dead and hundreds wounded.
“We’re praying. We have extended family, and we’re all hanging in there,” said Irene Empey from Saint George, Utah.
“He’s just a great kid,” she said about her hospitalized grandson. “We hope to see him soon.”
Empey, 20, was at the airport in Belgium’s capital when the bombing started. He was dropping off Sister Fanny Rachel Clain, 20, for a flight and was caught in the blast along with fellow elders Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi, Utah, and Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy, Utah, the church confirmed.
Clain, who is from Montelimar, France, was on her way to a mission assignment in Ohio.
In a Facebook post, Empey’s parents said the three men, along with Clain, were receiving medical treatment and were “doing well.”
“Our hearts are broken for all those that lost their lives in the terror attack in Brussels today. We are grateful that Elder Empey and his companion Elder Wells are okay,” dad Joe Courtney Empey and mom Amber Empey said in their posting.
“A Senior missionary and sister missionary were also with them. They were all injured but getting treatment and doing well,” they said.
An X-ray image of one victim shows embedded shrapnel.
“Dres will need surgery on a leg wound and does have some shrapnel in his ankles and knee. He has some second-degree burns to his hands and head. He has been in contact with us. We would all like to thank you for your love and prayers,” they said.
Other Americans hurt reportedly include a former basketball player at Oakland University in Michigan and an Air Force officer and his family.
“My ex player Seb Bellin was injured in the Brussels bombing. Going for second surgery. Please pray for Seb,” Oakland University coach Greg Kampe tweeted Tuesday.