SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - More than 160 passengers finally flew out of Orlando-Sanford International Airport on Tuesday around 7 p.m. on their way to Miami after a long dramatic afternoon in Sanford, Florida.
The plane departed Brussels early Tuesday morning, about 30 minutes before two bombs exploded in the Belgian capital. The blasts occurred at the Brussels airport and in the city's subway, killing at least 31 people and wounding dozens. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
People aboard the JetAirFly flight from Brussels spent almost ten hours flying to Florida with no idea about the terrrorist attack until they landed in Florida around 1 p.m.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Boeing-767 was parked far from the airport terminal while police and emergency vehicles inspected it.
After three hours of waiting at customs and waiting for security sweeps on their luggage, passengers finally rolled out of the terminal.
"We are a little bit shocked. Our kids were wondering if we are alive," said passenger Bertrand Maes of Belgium.
Jessica Delgado lives in West Palm Beach.
She said passengers had no idea about the terrorist attack until they landed at Sanford.
"It's very scary, and then not to know for ten hours and then your family is freaking out because they don't know what's going on. It's pretty scary," Delgado said.
After flying to Miami, the JetAirFly was en route to Liege, Belgium on Tuesday night.
Orlando Sanford International Airport (SAN) is one of two airports in the greater Orlando area and is located in Sanford, about 20 miles north of Downtown Orlando. At Orlando International Airport (MCO), security measures were enhanced in response to the Brussels attacks, though authorities made it clear that there were no known threats.
"There have been no threats or actions directed towards MCO," said airport spokesperson Carolyn Fennell, "so these changes are strictly out of an abundance of caution. The airport staff is vigilant in monitoring operations and security procedures."