An American man named Evan Lamos was reading about the deadly Brussels airport attacks on Tuesday, March 22, when his train — which was directly behind the Maalbeek metro station explosion — came to a sudden stop.
Lamos, a 30-year-old New Jersey native, told NBC News on Tuesday that he felt the impact of the subway explosion from his train car. He said he felt his "ears pop" and "a soft blast of air" hit his face, but didn't realize how close he was to the gruesome scene.
"I didn't immediately panic, as there are often technical problems," Lamos said. "I thought the soft blast of air was an air-con issue."
Lamos was born in the Garden State and raised in Georgia. At age 15, he moved to Belgium, where he is currently a multimedia director. He also shared his account of the metro scene by live-tweeting the incident.
On the Metro between Schuman and Maelbeek. We have just been stopped due to an "incident on the line". Can hear soft thudding in distance.— Evan Lamos (@evanlamos) March 22, 2016
Can still hear soft thudding in the distance. #Brussels— Evan Lamos (@evanlamos) March 22, 2016
Smoke in the tunnel as we evacuate.— Evan Lamos (@evanlamos) March 22, 2016
Lamos told NBC News that he and his fellow passengers were told to evacuate, but no details were provided at the time. "People were helping each other. I helped a woman with a buggy," he recalled to the network. "Only one guy jumped over chairs to try to get off ahead of other people."
Lamos tweeted that he was evacuated at the Arts-Loi station heading toward Maalbeek, which is located near the European Union's main buildings.
He said that once they emerged from the tunnel, there was chaos everywhere. "Outside we could see everyone was being evacuated," he told NBC News. "Traffic was stopped and police were on the scene."
Lamos realized the site of the explosion was dangerously close once he arrived at his office. "[I] realized that it was definitely an explosion in the train ahead of me," he told NBC News. If he had left for work sooner, he would have likely been involved in the deadly blast that has claimed the lives of dozens of people and injured many others.
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