News On 6 Photojournalist's Parents Describe Being In Brussels During Terror Attack

Tuesday, March 22nd 2016, 11:11 pm
By: News On 6

Here at News On 6, we didn't have to look far for a Tulsa connection to the attacks in Brussels.

One of our photojournalists was born in Brussels, and his parents call the international city home.

The attacks shocked the world, but especially people in Brussels; among them, Valerie Garforth and her husband, Peter.

“Well, you know, we woke up this morning and it was a big shock," Valerie Garforth said.

3/22/2016 Related Story: Terror Attacks Rock Belgium; Death Toll Rising

Their son, Sam, is a News On 6 photojournalist. Right now, Valerie and Peter are in Brussels, staying in an apartment right above the police station.

"I noticed they had put concrete blocks around in front, just as a sort of protection, so that's pretty scary to see that in your street," Valerie Garforth said.

Their apartment is just five metro stops from where one bomb went off. The other explosion happened at the airport, which is just a ten-minute drive.

"It's been a very, very difficult day,” Valerie said, “a very sad day."

Brussels is a diverse city, with at least three main languages. It’s also home to NATO headquarters.

Allison: "Is this something that people who live there have been concerned about?"

“There is quite a large Muslim community in one area of the city, and obviously, that's an area where people who have evil intentions can fade into the background," Valerie said. "I think that people who have evil intentions can find a place there to sort of go underground."

The Garforths are supposed to be flying back to the U.S. Friday, but the attacks are impacting airports around the world, and the Garforths are unsure whether they'll be able to fly back soon.