Michigan resident among wounded in Brussels

Warning: This story contains an image that shows a wounded Brussels victim, which some viewers may find disturbing. 


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One of the people wounded in the terrorist attack at the Brussels airport is a former basketball player from Belgium who now lives in Battle Creek with his family.

A photo of Sebastien Bellin lying on the floor was among the many on social media following the Tuesday attack. The photo shows him conscious, covered in dirt and bleeding from a leg wound.

In this photo Brazilian-Belgian basketball player Sebastien Bellin, lies wounded on the floor of the Brussels Airport after explosions ripped through the departure hall.
In this photo Brazilian-Belgian basketball player Sebastien Bellin, lies wounded on the floor of the Brussels Airport after explosions ripped through the departure hall.

Bellin, who is from Belgium, lived there with his wife for 14 years before moving to Battle Creek where his wife’s family lives, his mother-in-law, Pat Oldham, told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone.

Oldham said that the family was notified around 5 a.m. local time that Bellin had been hurt. She said he underwent surgery on his leg for an open-wound fracture. He will be back in surgery in a few days to remove debris from his hip.

Bellin is doing well and recovering, Oldham said. She said that when she spoke to him, he said he was “happy to be alive.”

Oldham said Bellin, who now works for a media company, was in Brussels on a business trip. She said he often travels for work. His wife and two children were home in Battle Creek when the explosion happened.

“She is definitely upset and worried about her husband, but she’s holding up pretty darn well, I think, all things considered,” Matthew Schimmel, Sara’s brother and Bellin’s brother-in-law, said.

Bellin was among dozens injured in explosion at the airport and a second blast on a subway train in Brussels. 34 people were killed. Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Bellin was thrown about 20 meters (more than 65 feet) in the explosion, according to the Google translation of a tweet by a professional Belgian basketball team for which he used to play.

Bellin played college basketball at Oakland University. The head basketball coach at Oakland tweeted early Tuesday afternoon that Bellin was undergoing a second surgery and asked for prayers.

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