Her face was covered with blood. Her body full of
ashes. The suspense, terror and fear were painted in her eyes desperately looking for help. Nidhi Tsapchekar was in the headlines of the newspapers of the whole planet for the wrong reason. It became the iconic face of the terrorist attacks that shocked Belgium, Brussels Airport and the Metro Belgian capital a year ago, on March 22, 2016, when 32 people were killed and more than 320 injured.
The stewardess from India was accepted yesterday by the King and Queen of Belgium, Philip and Matilda who, however, had visited in April 2016 when she was still hospitalized at Charleroi hospital (southeast) in an artificial coma, pointed Palace in a press release. “A year after the attacks, she is back in Belgium and accepted by monarchs on this occasion,” according to the press release.
The Tsapchekar, who was wearing a traditional sari, arrived at the Palace of Brussels, accompanied by her husband. The meeting took place away from the cameras. Age 43 years now, the hostess of Jet Airways was injured in an explosion that occurred in the airport lounge, where she was preparing to board with her colleagues on a flight to the US.
She suffered severe burns and was hospitalized in Belgium before returning to India. For 22 days she was in an artificial coma and was “more than 8 operations. The picture with the stewardess, a mother of two children, sitting in a chair at the airport, reproduced thousands of times. In an interview she had given on CNN in August, she explained that thanks to this snapshot “that was everywhere,” her husband learned that she had survived. She described that she felt shocked when she first saw this picture and wondered if “the person with the anguish face” was really hers.