Europe

Istanbul Ataturk airport attack: Eyewitness accounts

people running around a corner inside an airport, June 28 2016 Image copyright Laurence Cameron

On Tuesday evening Istanbul's Ataturk airport came under attack from gunmen who later blew themselves up. Dozens of people have lost their lives.

People who were there have been sharing their experiences of terror and survival.

Istanbul Ataturk airport attack: Death toll rises as Turkey mourns

First rumours

British journalist Laurence Cameron posted on Facebook as the attacks started: "Something kicking off at the airport here in Istanbul, mass panic, people shouting about bombs. Rumours of an attack."

Soon afterwards, he posted the BBC's breaking news story about the attack.

A few hours on, he wrote: "Made it out in one piece - pretty horrific stuff, someone certainly looking out for me."

He added this photograph of people trying to escape the shooting.

Image copyright Laurence Cameron

Only one way out

Will Carter was in the baggage collection hall when the first two bombs exploded. He heard them and then a third explosion outside the building. He saw a fireball and said there was "panic" from him and other passengers as they tried to get shelter.

"The only way out of the building was through the area where the last bomber had struck," he says.

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Media captionWill Carter, eyewitness: "We saw a flash of fire"

Honeymoon couple hid for 45 minutes

Steven Nabil, an Iraqi journalist and activist, said he was "face to face" with a gunman and then hid in a cupboard in a hairdresser's shop to keep himself and his new wife safe.

The pair were waiting for a connecting flight after their honeymoon, Mr Nabil said.

He said they were like "sitting ducks" and kept boiling water at hand in case a gunman opened the door. He said he was "begging my wife to keep calm" to avoid giving their position away.

"It was the longest 45 minutes ever".

Image copyright @stevoiraq
Image copyright @stevoiraq

'It is a terrible feeling, that you might die'

Thomas Kemper from the US was napping in the Turkish Airlines lounge when an explosion woke him up.

He said the lounge emptied as people hid "behind chairs and in the corners and in the kitchen and in the bathrooms".

"What went through my head was those images that you have from Paris and from Orlando, that they will come and shoot you now. And this is a terrible feeling, that you might die."

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Media captionThomas Kemper describes the "total chaos" as he feared for his life

'I couldn't locate my daughter'

Samira Mohamed Abdi told the BBC Somali service that in the rush to hide after the first explosion, her 13-year-old daughter Aisha went missing.

Image copyright Samira Mohamed Abdi
Image caption Samira Mohamed Abdi was travelling with her father to Mogadishu from Sweden

"We could see the explosion - it was just in front of us. All of a sudden, we saw the security people running up and down and shouting. We all went into hiding in the cafe's store room - about 20 people in a small room.

"We locked ourselves in as we heard the gunshots, then we realised one of us was missing. It was my saddest moment. I couldn't locate my daughter."

The girl's grandfather then rushed out to find her.

"He went out while all people were lying on the floor and the gunfire was continuing. He was calling her by her name, 'Aisha, Aisha, where are you?' He found shoes on the floor but they were not hers."

He could not locate the teenager.

But 20 minutes later, Samira's phone rang.

Aisha was hiding in another place and it had taken some time to find somebody who spoke English so she could borrow a phone.

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