An American Mormon missionary who was injured in Tuesday’s terror attack at the Brussels airport was a block away from the site of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy, Utah, suffered a severed Achilles tendon, head gash, shrapnel injuries and severe burns when two bombs ripped through the airport’s departure hall Tuesday morning. He is expected to make a full recovery.
The Deseret News reported that Wells called his family after undergoing surgery and described the blasts.
“Mom,” Wells said, “I was right by it.”
Almost exactly three years ago, Wells and his father Chad were watching the teen’s mother run the Boston Marathon when two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three people and injuring over 260 others.
“Hopefully he’s run his lifelong odds and we’re done,” said Chad Wells about the oldest of his five children. “I think it will make him a stronger person … Maybe the Boston experience was there to help him get through this experience.”
Wells was at the airport with fellow Mormon missionairies Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi, and Joseph Empey, 20.
Empey is doing well after being treated for second-degree burns to his hands, face and head, his parents, Court and Amber Empey said in a statement. He also had surgery for shrapnel injuries to his legs.
“We have been in touch with him and he is grateful and in good spirits,” the family said.
They were seeing off Fanny Rachel Clain, 20, of Montelimar, France, who was on her way to a missionary assignment in Cleveland. The woman had passed through security to a different part of the airport at the time of the explosion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said she didn’t make her flight out and was hospitalized with minor injuries.
As for Wells, family friend Chris Lambson said he thinks divine interventions have helped the young man survive in the face of such extraordinary, if not repeated, circumstances. In fact, Wells was also in France about two hours away from Paris during a series of attacks in the city last November.