Fear and chaos
Eyewitness describes scenes as terrorists strike in Istanbul
A passenger has told how he and his wife hid in a cupboard brandishing a pot of boiling water as terrorists attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.
Iraqi journalist Steven Narbil, 29, was at the airport on Tuesday night with his wife as they returned from their honeymoon when suspected ISIS extremists killed at least 41 people.
More than 230 people were also injured, with dozens in critical condition last night.
Narbil said that he and his wife hid in a closet for 45 minutes.
He said: “We were transiting from our honeymoon through Istanbul to New York. We came down the stairs to see the food court empty and the terrorist firing toward us.”
He said he grabbed his wife’s arm and fled.
“We took cover in a closet inside a hair salon,” he said. “For 45 minutes we were sitting and waiting to find out who will open the door. In the closet I was begging my wife to keep calm because the noise might draw any attackers.
“To protect her, if they opened the door and took hostages, we had boiling tea water as a weapon to burn an attacker if he found us in the closet.
“When we made it out of storage room, we ran downstairs and took shelter with others.”
Narbil said there was blood everywhere.
The attackers arrived by taxi, officials said. The state-run Anadolu news agency said one entered the international departures area with an assault rifle, was shot by a police officer, and detonated his explosives. At the same moment, according to the Anadolu account, someone standing at the door of the international arrivals area started shouting, sending people inside scurrying in all directions while an armed man entered. Security forces fired on the attacker, and he detonated his explosives before reaching the X-Ray control. A third attacker reportedly blew himself up outside the arrivals terminal. Another eyewitness, Paul Roos, a South African tourist who was due to fly home with his wife, said: “We came up from the arrivals to the departures, up the escalator when we heard these shots going off. There was this guy going roaming around, he was dressed in black and he had a handgun.”
ESCAPE: Passengers leave Ataturk Airport after the suicide bomb attacks