NBA Hall of Famer Dikemebe Mutombo was in the Brussels Airport when two explosions went off Tuesday morning, he told CNN.
"I could see the mom [sic] with their children — there were so many mom with kids," Mutombo said. "Everybody was running. It was so sad."
The two explosions took place before airport security checkpoints, near the American Airlines check-in counters. Mutombo, 49, was in an airport lounge near the explosions.
"My heart goes out to the families affected, to the citizens of Brussels," he continued, audibly upset.
Mutombo, who played professional basketball for 19 years, was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame last year in celebration of becoming an NBA All-Star eight times over.
Within a few hours of the attacks, Mutombo posted two pictures on Facebook: one of his face, and one of the tarmac where people in the airport were evacuated following the explosions.
"God is good," both posts read. "I am in Brussels Airport with this craziness. I am fine."
Three explosions total rocked Brussels Tuesday morning, two in the airport and one in a metro station, killing at least 31 people. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, claiming in a post from the group's Amaq news agency that its extremists opened fire in the airport and "several of them" detonated suicide belts.
Mutombo was traveling from his home country of Congo to speak at a conference about the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer as part of the humanitarian work to which he now devotes himself, the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation said in a statement posted on Facebook:
Today we bow our heads in remembrance for those who lost their lives in Brussels. And we give thanks for all of the first responders offering support, strength, and solidarity to everyone impacted by these horrible tragedies.
To those who are asking for an update — Dikembe was at the Brussels airport when the bombing happened this morning, and was thankfully unharmed. Local authorities are working to move everyone to safe locations while the City navigates through this act of terror.
Please join us in keeping Brussels in your thoughts and prayers.
Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Ema O'Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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