Free lance journalist Steven Nabil was at Turkey’s international airport, with his newly wedded wife, when the terror attack started. His account of the ordeal is bone chilling and horrifying. Read how they managed to survive.
An American journalist returning from his honeymoon with his wife has told of his horror after he came face-to-face with a gunman during the Turkey airport attacks.
Steven Nabil and his wife were heading to New York City via Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport when three suicide bombers launched a ‘major, co-ordinated’ attack.
The extremists spraying bullets into crowds of terrified passengers and security personnel before blowing themselves up, killing at least 41 people and injuring 140,
Nabil’s wife was among those wounded in the shooting as she and her husband desperately sought shelter in a store cupboard during the attack.
He was getting pizza when one of the gunman opened fire, forcing him to sprint through the crowd to find his newlywed bride.
The freelance reporter, who has tweeted about his experience, broke into a nearby salon at the airport where he and his wife hid in a closet.
Nabil said they stayed there like ‘sitting ducks,’ for 45 minutes, ‘waiting to find out who will open the door.’
‘When the bullets were closer,’ he wrote, ‘I hugged and kissed her.’
Nabil explained that he had left his wife in a cafe downstairs while he popped up to the third floor to a Sbaro when he heard gunshots.
He said he had run back to his wife and ‘came down the stairs to see the (food)court empty and the terrorist firing toward us.’
In an interview with Good Morning America, he said the worst part of the ordeal was being away from his wife when the attack began.
At one point, he had been ‘face to face with the attacker while he sprayed’ gunshots.
With his wife injured, he carried her own his arm and fled to the salon where they stayed until it was safe.
He put her inside a cupboard and locked the door behind them. Nabil then found a tea kettle filled with hot water.
If an attacker had come through the door, his first reaction would have been to ‘dump it on his face’,
He told GMA: ‘She was crying and I was trying to put my hand on her mouth to keep her quiet.’
In his Twitter post, he added: ‘(We) waited in terror while he was shooting outside the store. We barely made it,’ he added.
Twenty-three of the victims were Turkish citizens and 13 foreign nationals were also among the casualties, an official has said.
A total of 41 people have already been confirmed dead, but Turkish officials said that number is expected to rise to 50.
Shortly after news of the deadly attack broke, several videos allegedly documenting the horrific attack surfaced.
In shocking footage that captured the moment, that a gunman was seen running through the international arrivals terminal before falling to the ground – apparently felled by a police bullet – and sending his AK-47 skidding across the floor.
The police officer then approached the gunman before realizing he is about to detonate his suicide vest and running for his life.