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The Victims Of The Brussels Attacks: What We Know

A 2013 photo of Adelma Tapia Ruiz, provided by her brother Fernando Tapia Ruiz, shows Ruiz with her Belgian husband, Christophe Delcambe, and their twin daughters, Maureen and Alondra. Ruiz died in Tuesday's attacks. A split-second decision saved her husband and daughters from sharing her fate: Delcambe had taken the girls out of the check-in line to play for a moment when the bomb exploded.

The deadly attacks that ripped through Brussels' airport and a metro station on March 22 killed 32 people, according to Belgian Minister of Social Affairs and Health Maggie De Block.

Including three dead attackers, the total number of dead stands at 35. More than 300 people were injured in the blasts.

Belgian authorities had earlier put the death toll at 38 people, including the attackers, but revised the figure after three of the victims were found to be duplicated on two different lists.

More than a week after the attack, which were claimed by ISIS, the identities of the victims are still not fully known. Belgium's Crisis Center says 17 of the deceased are Belgian and 15 are foreign nationals, but that it has not released their identities out of respect for the victims and their families.

Here's some of what we know about the victims who have been publicly identified:

  • Stephanie Shults and Justin Shults: The deaths of the American husband and wife were confirmed by their employers. Both were accountants — Stephanie for Mars Inc. and Justin for a Tennessee-based company called Clarcor Inc. Clarcor said in its statement that the two had lived in Brussels since 2014. Both were graduates of Vanderbilt University, the Tennessean reports, and enjoyed traveling Europe.
  • Gail Minglana Martinez: The death of Martinez, a U.S. citizen, was confirmed by U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold. Martinez was traveling with her husband, Kato, a U.S. Air Force officer based in Europe. Farehthold said Kato and their four children had been injured and were hospitalized.
  • Andre Adam: The former Belgian ambassador to the United States was confirmed as a victim by Brussels prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch. Adam was 79. His diplomatic career began in 1962 and took him to Havana, Paris, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, London, Zaire, Algeria and Los Angeles, as well as the United Nations.
  • Patricia Rizzo: Born in Belgium to an Italian family, Rizzo worked in the human resources department at the European Research Council, the AP reports. Rizzo died in the metro attack. She was 48, and is survived by a son and her parents.
  • Jennifer Scintu Waetzmann: The coach for a youth handball club in Aachen, Germany, was heading to New York for a belated honeymoon, according to media reports. Her husband, Lars Waetzmann, was wounded in the airport attack. The Associated Press writes that Jennifer Scintu Waetzmann's final post on Facebook came after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November, and said, "Pray for Paris."
  • Elita Borbor Weah: Weah, 40, was heading to Rhode Island for her stepfather's funeral when she died in the airport bombing. She lived in the Netherlands with her 13-year-old daughter, the AP writes. Her extended family had scattered around the world — West Africa, Europe, the United States — fleeing the violence of Liberia's civil wars.
  • Alexander and Sascha Pinczowski: The Dutch siblings, who lived in New York City, died in the explosions at the airport. Former U.S. Ambassador James Cain — the father of Alexander's fiancee, Cameron Cain — confirmed the deaths on behalf of the Pinczowski family. The two siblings were reportedly on the phone with a family member, while waiting at the Brussels airport, when the line went dead.
  • David Dixon: The British man, originally from Nottingham, had lived in Brussels with his partner for a decade, the BBC reports. Dixon and partner Charlotte Sutcliffe had a young son. He had texted his aunt saying he was safe after the airport blasts, but was missing after the subsequent explosion at a metro station, the BBC reported earlier.
  • Adelma Tapia Ruiz: The Peruvian national died in the airport attack; her husband and 4-year-old twin daughters were saved by chance, the AP reports. Her Belgian husband, Christophe Delcambe, had taken the girls out of a line to play for a moment when the explosion struck. Her friend Lady Jouan tells All Things Considered that Ruiz was an extrovert who loved to cook.
  • Leopold Hecht: The 20-year-old student at a Belgian university died in the Maelbeek subway station bombing, according to a statement from the rector of Universite Saint-Louis–Bruxelles.
  • Olivier Delespesse: The New York Times reports that Delespesse, who died in the subway attack, worked in public service for French-speaking Belgium and was known to his co-workers as playful and approachable.
  • A Dutch citizen from the eastern city of Deventer died in the attacks, according to the Netherlands' foreign minister.
  • A French citizen died in the attacks, according to the French foreign ministry.
  • A Chinese national, surname Deng, died in the attacks, according the the Chinese Embassy in Belgium, as translated by the news agency Xinhua.

Victims' identities are still being released to the public. We will share only information that we believe to be credible, and will update as more information is released.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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