Istanbul terror attack: 41 killed; airport resumes flights amid blood, shattered glass

Courtesy: CNN
Courtesy: CNN

Istanbul, Turkey (CNN) As passengers at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport waited to check in and board their flights Wednesday, workers picked up shattered glass and washed off blood that was barely dry.

The airport is up and running hours after the Tuesday night attack, which killed at least 41 people, Turkish officials said. Another 239 people were injured; of them, 109 remained hospitalized Wednesday.
At least 37 of the deceased have been identified, including 10 foreign nationals and three dual nationals, the Istanbul governorship said.
One Ukrainian is among those killed, Turkey’s foreign ministry said.
Another was a Palestinian, the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Ministry said. Five other Palestinians were injured.
And an Iranian citizen also died in the attack, the nation’s semiofficial ISNA news agency said. The country has since canceled all flights to Istanbul, according to the Iranian Tasnim News Agency.
A Russian national was injured in the attack, according to state-run Sputnik news.
Identities of the other victims have not been released.

‘Bloody boot marks’

Gunshots, screams and explosions pierced the air during the attack Tuesday.
Witnesses described deadly carnage and crowds in a panic as the attackers struck one of the world’s busiest airports
Sue Savage was in the airport to see a friend off when she heard gunshots and then an explosion. More gunshots rang out, followed by another boom, she told “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
She and about 30 people were herded into a women’s prayer room until authorities led them out and down an escalator into the main terminal hall.
“There was a lot of blood,” she said. The floor was marked with bloody boot marks as the group was led to the other side of the room.
“There was so much glass on the floor they were scuffing it aside so we didn’t slip,” she said.
Video from inside the terminal shows people fleeing and the bright orange flash of fire from one of the explosions. Victims stagger and some fall from the blood-covered, slick floor.
Another video shows a man walking with a gun, which he drops when he’s apparently shot by a security officer. The man slumps to the ground and the officer briefly stands over him before running. About 10 seconds later, there is an explosion.
Traveler Laurence Cameron described what he saw after he stepped off a plane.
“It was just a massive crowd of screaming people. Some were falling over themselves. A poor chap in a wheelchair was just left, and everyone just rushed to the back of the building, and then people ran the other way and no one really seemed to know what was going on,” he told CNN. “Where you normally hail a taxi, that is where the attack happened. The ground is just kind of shredded. There are bloodstains on the floor as well.”

The three bombers

Of the three bombers in the airport attack, two were at the international terminal, and the third terrorist was in the nearby parking lot, a Turkish official told CNN. All three detonated suicide vests.
The attacks happened on a warm summer night at the airport, east of Istanbul, which is the 11th busiest in the world in terms of passenger traffic.
Ataturk Airport is “one of the most secure airports in the world,” CNN senior law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes said. But the airport has been “very overwhelmed for several decades with terrorism from PKK.”
Experts say Turkey is especially vulnerable because of the terror groups operating there.
“You cannot protect these airports 100% … especially in a place like Turkey, where ISIS has cells everywhere,” said retired Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a former U.S. military attaché in Syria.
The airport was closed overnight for several hours, and flights into the airport had been diverted to the capital of Ankara and other cities.
It has since reopened and flights have resumed.

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