Flight from Brussels lands at Orlando Sanford International Airport
Flight took off 8 minutes before 1st attack at Brussels Airport
SANFORD, Fla. – A flight from Brussels landed at Orlando Sanford International Airport on Tuesday after it took off for Central Florida eight minutes before the first bomb went off inside the Brussels Airport.
Jetairfly 217 took off from Brussels at 8:04 a.m. Central European Time and landed Orlando Sanford International Airport at 12:55 p.m. ET Tuesday. It was one of the last to leave the Brussels airport before the bombings.
"Even it was an hour, it was still too close to know that somebody you love is that close to such a devastating situation," Lisa Jackson, the mother of one of the passengers, said.
Families gathered outside the airport waiting for passengers to get off the plane, telling News 6 that the passengers were going through extra security before disembarking.
There were 269 passengers and 10 crew members on board. Passengers said there was no announcement about the Brussels attack and they didn't have WiFi. They said they didn't find out about the Brussels attack until they landed.
"They just told us there was a situation, we're going to take extra time for security, just be patient," passenger Brandon Jackson said. "Then the cars and the vans started pulling up, and then everyone got the idea that something was wrong, and then the news started coming in and we found out."
"Nobody knew. We only knew when my family told me what happened," passenger Sabine Uschmann said.
Law enforcement met the plane on the taxiway. Airport officials said K-9s checked all the luggage before passengers could claim their bags.
There was an increased police presence at the airport. Several officers were patrolling the facility while carrying large guns. Airport officials told News 6 that they would not comment on security measures in light of the attacks in Brussels.
ISIS claimed to strike yet again on European soil on Tuesday, saying its "fighters" launched attacks on the airport and a subway station in Belgium's capital that killed at least 30 people and wounded about 230 more.
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