The young, French LDS sister missionary on her way to the United States Tuesday morning was at the checkout desk at the Brussels airport when the first of two bombs exploded nearby, she told European news outlets Thursday.
"There was just an enormous noise, like the end of the world in a second," Sister Fanny Clain told France TV Pluzz, "and I found myself on the ground and debris was everywhere. I was covered in gray stuff, it smelled like burning pork.
"I got up and went outside as quickly as possible," she said. "And then people told me I was burned, and I caught site of myself in a mirror and I saw some of my burns, but I didn't look very long."
Gauze covered the burns on her head, hands and fingers as she gave the interview from her bed in the burn unit at Stuivenberg Hospital in Antwerp, Belgium. She also suffered burns to her legs.
"It burned," she said, "it burned. My leg didn't hurt too bad, it was the burns that really hurt."
She said she didn't panic.
"I wasn't afraid. I just looked for help, I wasn't afraid, people around me were very nice."
The 20-year-old from Montélimar, France, had been serving in the France Paris Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while waiting for a permanent visa to the United States. She was at the airport to catch her flight to Cleveland, Ohio, where she was to complete her missionary assignment.
Three missionaries who dropped her off at the airport were seriously injured by a blast. Nails were included in the suicide bombs to increase the amount of shrapnel, investigators said.
Elder Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi, Utah, is in a medically induced coma. His family has said he faces a long recovery from shrapnel wounds and burns to his head, neck and lower leg.
Shrapnel and heat from the bomb also wounded Elder Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy, Utah, and Elder Joseph Dresden Empey, 20, of Santa Clara, Utah.
Doctors performed surgery on Elder Wells to repair a ruptured Achilles' tendon. Elder Empey also underwent surgery on his legs. Both young men suffered burns to their heads and arms.
"I cried a little bit yesterday but I'm not going to cry too much," Clain said. "Otherwise, I'll get dehydrated."10 comments on this story
Sister Clain's father, Thierry Clain, provided an update on her condition Friday morning.
"Fanny is doing well. She was operated on today to remove shrapnel from her body and is resting. She also received second-degree burns to her hands and face and is receiving treatment. I have been in contact with the hospital, but was unable to talk with Fanny because she was sleeping. I have been extremely touched by the concern and goodness expressed by others in regards to Fanny. I look forward to visiting her Saturday and staying a few days with her."