At least 41 people have been killed and 239 wounded in a terror attack yesterday on Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey. Three bombers were also killed. Mine Iyidinc, a witness said,
“It was like hell. There was panic everywhere. We did not understand that it was a terrorist attack.“
At the airport, Will Turner had been in the baggage area when he felt a shake, which he described as a “dull thud” from two loud explosions. Turner sensed something was off because a shock wave seemed to reverberate throughout the airport. He told CNN‘s Anderson Cooper.
“It was loud enough to know something was not right.“
About a minute later, he felt the third explosion and saw “a flash of a fire ball” inside the terminal. Panic and screams engulfed the room as Turner and other passengers fled.
Paul Roos, who was due to fly home to South Africa, told Reuters he saw one of the attackers.
“He was wearing all black. His face was not masked. We ducked behind a counter but I stood up and watched him. Two explosions went off shortly after one another. By that time he had stopped shooting.
He turned around and started coming towards us. He was holding his gun inside his jacket. He looked around anxiously to see if anyone was going to stop him and then went down the escalator. We heard some more gunfire and then another explosion, and then it was over.“
Just minutes before one of the bombs would explode, airport employee Levent Karaoglan said he passed the area where it would detonate. He was inside a plane when he heard the explosion.
“I was heavily shaken by the explosion even though I was inside the plane. When I got back inside the airport, everywhere was covered with smoke, all of the windows were shattered and people were fluttering around.
My colleagues who work at the ticket sale desk, they were on the ground and crying. A couple of my friends are wounded, hit on the head by different objects.
There are many casualties, legs, arms and everything, everywhere.“
Survivors walked through the damaged airport, their steps crunching the shattered glass and crumbled pieces of the collapsed ceiling. Blood pooled on the floor and the air reeked of stuffy, hot smoke.
The attack happened on a warm summer night at the airport, east of Istanbul, that is the 11th busiest in the world in terms of passenger traffic. CNN’s Ali Veshi says it is a modern, sophisticated airport.
“There are all of the major European and American boutiques there,” said Velshi, who has traveled through Turkey many times. “… You see people of all shapes and colors, in all sorts of dress. If you want to target the cosmopolitan nature of Istanbul, this is possibly the most cosmopolitan, heavily populated part. You can target tourist areas, but this is the part where the world comes together.“
The video below shows people hiding in a store at the airport during the attack.
— CNN (@CNN) June 28, 2016