San Diego woman escapes Brussels attacks

Posted at 10:50 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 11:25:08-04

A trip of a lifetime turned into a scramble for safety for a San Diego woman in Brussels when the terrorist attacks occurred.

"It's just a feeling I can't describe," said Keli Garrett. "It's something that you don't think you're going to feel; you think you're exempt from it, and something that you only see on the news until you're there, you're in Brussels."

Garrett spent the day hunkered down in a hostel in Molenbeek -- the same neighborhood where police arrested Salah Abdeslam, the most wanted man in Europe.

Authorities believe Abdeslam helped plan last year's Paris attacks and may have had a hand in the Brussels bombing.

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"Yeah, the guy was arrested just right down the street from me the night that I got there," Garrett said. "So I'm just like … definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. Especially after that second explosion, that's when we kind of were really unsure about what else could happen."

The attack left the city gridlocked.

"I was supposed to be on the train that morning," Garrett said. "I was supposed to get on the metro and go to the train, and I decided to sleep in."

Garrett's friends from the Netherlands finally drove down to get her out of Brussels.

"I still will have good memories of Brussels. I'm going to keep those good memories," Garrett said. "I don't want this to mar the memories and let them win. I'm not going to let it happen."