‘Everyone was hunched down, on their mobiles’


A Brussels-based Sligo man has described his frightening experience of being caught up in the harrowing terrorist atrocities, one of which took place just a short distance from his workplace in the Belgian capital on Tuesday morning.

Heber Rowan, who has been working in the city since February, was one of a number of Sligo people, including MEP Marian Harkin, who were not far from Maelbeek metro station, where 20 people were killed and 100 injured.

Heber told of what happened as he made his daily commute to work.

“It was a normal day, I go by Maelbeek station every day and I passed the soldiers who are in front of the headquarters where I work and normally they are very chatty, but I could see they were very serious and they were stopping people one by one.

“As I was walking down there were more sirens than normal and a lot of black Mercedes’ with blue and red lights in the front.”

“Before I knew it there were more ambulances and I started thinking ‘that can’t be the airport’, but when I got in everyone was hunched down on the ground on their mobiles trying to find out what was happening and word was starting coming from here and there that there was an attack.”

The Cartron native explained how the Paris attacks had remained fresh in the mind of the Belgian public, who recently saw a prime suspect arrested in their country.

For more of Heber’s story and the reaction of others from Sligo who were caught up in the Brussels attacks, see this week’s Sligo Weekender- in shops now.


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