Mormon missionaries from Utah among Belgian bombing survivors

3 Mormon Missionaries from US Injured in the Brussels Attacks
3 Mormon Missionaries from US Injured in the Brussels Attacks

They had just dropped off a fellow missionary at the Brussels Airport on Tuesday when an explosion ripped through the building.

In a sickening flash, three Mormon missionaries were badly hurt in the latest terror attack to hit Europe.

READ MORE: 3 Mormon missionaries from US injured in Brussels attacks

The three -- all from Utah -- were identified by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Elder Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi; Elder Joseph Empey, 20, of Santa Clara; and Elder Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy.


The fourth missionary, Sister Fanny Rachel Clain, 20, of Montélimar, France, was also hospitalized with what the church described as "minor injuries."


"He had only been in Brussels for six weeks," Wells' weeping mother, Kymberley Wells, told NBC News. "We found out when we were called early this morning. We don't know enough about his injuries yet."

In a later statement, the worried mom said Wells was undergoing an operation to repair damage to his foot.

Empey's mother, however, said she was relieved after she was able to speak with her son.

"He is doing great," she said.

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Wounded in the leg, Norby was able to call his wife in Brussels and let her know he was alive, his son-in-law told NBC News.

"She spoke to him once at the airport and he told her that he was hurt," Brian Allred told NBC. "His wife was on a mission with him but was attending to other things at the time."

"They took down the cell phones intermittently," Allred added. "We haven't been able to get him back on the phone, so we're just trying to find out where he is."

Allred said they are "doing okay" but really worried about Norby, who has been on a mission in Brussels since August.

"We just heard an initial report that he gave that he was injured, that he had injured his leg but it was a brief conversation," he said.

The trio were at Zaventem Airport escorting a fourth missionary, Sister Fanny Rachel Clain, 20, of Montélimar, France. She was heading to a missionary assignment in Ohio and had already passed through airport security when the blast went off.

"Our prayers are with the families of the deceased and injured, including three of our missionaries who were injured and hospitalized," the church statement said. "We also pray for the people of Belgium and France as they continue to deal with the uncertainty and devastation caused by the recent terrorist attacks."

Meanwhile, U.S. military officials confirmed to NBC that a U.S. service member and four members of his family were also wounded. They did not release their names or conditions.

But one U.S. military official said their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

In addition, a trio of Quinnipiac University students who were in the terminal at the time of the explosion were safe at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, officials said.