World & Nation

Injured Indian flight attendant, a symbol of Brussels attacks, is ‘out of danger,’ family says

Flight attendant injured in Brussels Airport attack

The family of Nidhi Chaphekar, right, a Jet Airways flight attendant injured in the terror attack at Brussels Airport, said she was recovering at a Belgian hospital and out of danger.

(Ketevan Kardava / Associated Press)

Flight attendant Nidhi Chaphekar became a symbol of the Brussels Airport attack when a photograph of her looking stunned and bloodied, her yellow blazer in tatters, circulated worldwide.

Now her family in India says she is “out of danger” and recovering from her injuries, including burns and a broken foot.

Her husband traveled from their home in Mumbai on Thursday to be with Chaphekar at a Brussels-area hospital, her sister-in-law, Madhuri Chaphekar, said in a phone interview.

“The moment they saw her and called me and said she was out of danger, we were really relieved,” she said.


Chaphekar was in stable condition and resting under sedation, her employer, Jet Airways, said in a statement Friday. The airline said Chaphekar was not in a coma, as some media reported a day earlier.

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A second Jet Airways crew member who was injured in the airport attack was also recovering in a hospital, said Manish Kalghatgi, the airline’s vice president for corporate communications.

Family members said Chaphekar, who has worked for the Mumbai-based airline for about two decades, is 40 years old and has two children. In the hours after Tuesday’s blasts at Zaventem Airport in Brussels, which killed 11 and injured dozens, Chaphekar’s image, captured by Georgian journalist Ketevan Kardava, starkly dramatized the trauma of the attack.


Indians voiced their concern on Twitter with the hashtag #PrayforNidhi. Some criticized international media for broadcasting the photo, in part because Chaphekar’s uniform jacket had been ripped apart, although family members said it was the photo that first alerted them that she had been hurt in the blasts.

FULL COVERAGE: Terrorist attacks in Brussels

“Everyone from the airline to the Indian Embassy, their support has helped us,” Madhuri Chaphekar said.

Follow @SBengali on Twitter for more news from South Asia.


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