Local man living in Brussels: “I could have had a bad day and been there”


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – For one man now living in Brussels with ties to the East, Tuesday was a scary day that hit close to home.

Rob Denny, who was born in Wilson and graduated from Grainger High School in Kinston, has been living in Brussels for more than a year. He said the location of the attacks Tuesday was just blocks away from his home.

“I could have had a bad day and been there,” Denny said. “Also, I can see how our lives can change.”

Denny said he is no stranger to the subway or airport where terrorists killed more than 30 people Tuesday. He normally travels to several different countries each year for work and knows exactly where the explosives were detonated.

He described the airport in Brussels as an easy target for terrorists because everything is centralized.

“All of the desks are just in one huge room and they back up on the street side to where the Starbucks is, which is where the second blast occurred,” he said.

Following the attacks, he could hear sirens and helicopters for hours. But as the time went by, Denny said an eerie quiet overtook the city.

Rather than anger and hate, he said the city of Brussels is coming together to help one another. Much like after the Paris attacks, locals took to social media to welcome in those stranded and give them a safe place to stay.

He said people shouldn’t blame an entire religion and group based on the actions of just a few.

“There’s no way to completely prevent this kind of thing, even in the United States. Today was a horrible day in Brussels, but it could have been much worse,” he said. “We should be strong, but we shouldn’t hate. We shouldn’t condemn. It just makes it worse.”

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