brussels mourning, attack.jpg
Photograph: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

It was supposed to be a family reunion, but it ended in tragedy in Brussels.

Adelma Tapia Ruiz of Peru - on her way to New York to visit her sisters - was waiting Tuesday with her Belgian husband and their 3-year-old twin daughters at Brussels Airport when a terrorist's bomb went off.

Her husband and one daughter were unharmed, and the other suffered a shrapnel injury to one arm. But the 36-year-old wife and mother was dead.

The little girls were very lucky, said Tapia's brother Fernando Tapia Coral.

"The girls were probably running through the hall and my sister's husband was running after them. If they hadn't been playing around, they would have been dead too," he told Peruvian broadcaster Canal N.

"My sister stayed in the waiting area, where the suicide attack happened," he said.

Tapia Ruiz was from the Ucayali region in eastern Peru. She had been living in Belgium for nine years, according to the El Comercio newspaper, and been married to Belgian Christophe Delcambe for the last eight.

She was a cook and wanted to open a restaurant in Belgium, Radio broadcaster RPP reported.

After a stop in New York, the family had planned to continue on to Peru, where Tapia Ruiz and Christophe had first met and where they had their wedding.

She hadn't been back to Peru in a year, her father Fernando Tapia Cano, told the newspaper La Republica. "We could no longer bear not seeing each other," he said.

Writing on Facebook, her brother said: "It is still hard to understand how fate can rip a loved one from us. She did not survive the Jihadist attack. That we will never be able to understand. Rest in peace, little sister. We all have to be strong now. It is hard to accept that we will no longer see you in the short life that you had."

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