Dikembe Mutombo details experience at Brussels Airport
Former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo was at Brussels Airport in Zaventem on Tuesday when the city was hit by terrorist attacks that left 31 dead and 300 injured.
Mutombo, who is one of the most charitable athletes of his time, was at the airport looking to connect flights after doing some humanitarian work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mutombo told ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak about his experience and says he was resting at a lounge when he heard a woman walk in and yell to everyone to clear out and start running.
“The lady walked in and screamed, ‘out out, everybody run!'” Mutombo recalled.
Mutombo said he looked around to see what was going on and took the advice and started to run.
“There was a lot of panic. I was trying to figure out where the panic was coming from,” said Mutombo. “We ran all of the way to the tarmac. It was just sad to see all the old women with babies and old ladies who couldn’t walk. It was just sad to see them.
“I was lucky. When we got outside, there was nobody there. The bus dropped everybody outside the airport. I was just standing there trying to talk to my wife and kids.”
Mutombo says two American men recognized him, approached him and helped lead him to safety. He says they asked if he was former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo and asked him if he wanted to get away from the mess. He said yes and followed them away. He says he was given shelter and a place to sleep and driven to Amsterdam airport to fly home.
“You just don’t know when you’re going to have an angel on your side. And those were my two angels,” said Mutombo, thanking the men.