UK

David Dixon confirmed dead in Brussels attacks

  • 25 March 2016
  • From the section UK
David Dixon Image copyright Dixon family

A Briton who has been missing in Brussels since Tuesday died in the bomb attacks in the Belgian capital, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

The family of David Dixon, 50, who lived in Brussels with his partner and young son, said it was "the most terrible news".

Mr Dixon had contacted his family after the airport blasts but was missing after the later Metro station blast.

The UK government said seven Britons had been injured in Tuesday's attacks.

Three were still being treated in hospital, the Foreign Office said.

Meanwhile, Belgian officials have named the second suicide bomber in Tuesday's attack at Brussels airport as Najim Zaachraoui, and said that his DNA had been found at sites of the November Paris attacks.

Twelve suspects have been arrested in three European countries as police step up efforts to prevent further attacks after the Brussels blasts, which claimed 31 lives and injured about 270 people.

'Painful time'

The family of Mr Dixon, who was originally from Hartlepool and had also lived in Nottingham, said they had received "the most terrible and devastating news about our beloved David".

In a statement, they said: "At this most painful time our family would gratefully appreciate it if we could be left alone to grieve in private."

A statement from the UK Foreign Office said: "We can confirm David Dixon lost his life in the attacks which took place in Brussels on Tuesday 22 March 2016.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time and our embassy staff are continuing to support them."

Mr Dixon had lived in Brussels for about 10 years with his partner, Charlotte Sutcliffe.


More about the attacks

Image copyright PA

Why have jihadists targeted Belgium?

Why Brussels warning signs were missed

From Paris to Brussels: Why the attacks are linked

What we know so far

Victims and survivors


Mr Dixon was working as an IT contractor for securities settlement group Euroclear, which has an office a few Metro stops away from Maelbeek Metro station, the site of the third explosion on Tuesday.

Twin blasts had hit Zaventem airport an hour earlier at about 07:00 GMT.

'Amazing man'

Tim Howell, CEO of Euroclear, said: "David was a valued colleague and will be sorely missed."

He said "deepest condolences" went out to his partner, son and family.

Mr Dixon's friend Simon Hartley-Jones previously described the father-of-one as "a lovely guy" and "an amazing man who deeply, deeply loves his son".

Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "I am deeply saddened to hear David Dixon was killed in the Brussels attacks. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family."

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond tweeted: "Saddened by the dreadful news of David Dixon's death following the #BrusselsAttacks. My thoughts & condolences are with his family."

Image caption David Dixon lived in Brussels with his partner Charlotte Sutcliffe and their son

Mark Beamish, from Birmingham, was among those injured in the explosion at the Maelbeek Metro station.

Mr Beamish, 35, told the BBC he had "no memory" of the explosion itself, which left him with cuts to his head and burns to his hands.

"I was travelling with a friend so I remember shaking his hand goodbye as I stepped off the train," said the European Parliament worker.

"And that's the last thing I remember. I don't remember a blast. I don't remember any sound or vision.

"I have one static image of me crouching on some stairs covered in dust."

Arrests

Brahim el-Bakraoui is one of three men believed to have been involved in the bombings at Zaventem airport that killed 11 people.

The Belgian prosecutor said another suicide bomber had been the wanted jihadist Najim Laachraoui, whose DNA was found on explosives linked to the attacks in Paris last November.

A third man, who has not yet been identified and is on the run, is said to have fled the scene without detonating his explosive device.

Bakraoui's brother, Khalid, struck at Maelbeek metro station, where 20 people died.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption An airport CCTV image shows the three men believed to have been involved in the bombings at Zaventem airport with Brahim el-Bakraoui in the middle

So far nine suspects have been arrested in Brussels, two reportedly in Germany and one in Paris as investigations continue into the attacks.

In Brussels, six people were arrested in connection with the attacks on Thursday, according to Belgian prosecutors, who later said three of them had been released. Three more were held on Friday.

In France, a man alleged to be in the "advanced stage" of plotting an attack was arrested in Paris's north-western Argenteuil suburb on Thursday.

And in Germany two suspected jihadists were detained in Dusseldorf and Giessen areas on Wednesday and Thursday - both with suspected links to one of the Brussels bombers, Der Spiegel reports, and one with suspicious text messages on his mobile phone referencing Brussels.

The Brussels bombings have been linked to last November's Paris attacks, when 130 died after militants opened fire and detonated bombs in a number of locations in the French capital.

The so-called Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Brussels and Paris.

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