4 LDS Missionaries, 3 From Utah, Injured In Belgium Terrorist Attack

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Photo Courtesy: Intellectual Reserve

BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 22, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Four LDS missionaries, three of them from Utah, have been hospitalized after being injured in the terrorist explosions Tuesday in Belgium.

The fourth missionary, a native of France, was also injured.

Here is the ORIGINAL news release from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its subsequent updates:

Three Mormon Missionaries Injured in Belgium Explosion

(March 22, 2016, at 8:00 a.m. MDT) Three Mormon missionaries serving in the Paris, France mission were seriously injured in Tuesday’s explosion at the Brussels airport, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported this morning.

Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi, Utah, was injured in the Brussels airport terrorist explosion on March 22. Norby serves in the France/Paris Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo: Facebook
Elder Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi, Utah, was injured in the Brussels airport terrorist explosion on March 22. Norby serves in the France/Paris Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo: Facebook

The three had been accompanying a fourth missionary who was on her way to a mission assignment in Ohio, and who had already passed through airport security.

While detailed, accurate information is difficult to obtain because of limited communications in Brussels, mission President Frederic J. Babin has reported that three of the missionaries were in the proximity of the explosion when it occurred and have been hospitalized.

The injured missionaries, whose families have been notified, are:

• Elder Richard Norby (66) of Lehi, Utah
• Elder Joseph Empey (20) of Santa Clara, Utah
• Elder Mason Wells (19) of Sandy, Utah

Elder Joseph Empey, 20, of Santa Clara, Utah, was injured in the Brussels airport terrorist explosion on March 22. Empey serves in the France/Paris Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo: Facebook
Elder Joseph Empey, 20, of Santa Clara, Utah, was injured in the Brussels airport terrorist explosion on March 22. Empey serves in the France/Paris Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo: Facebook

The missionaries were taking Sister Fanny Rachel Clain (20) of Montélimar, France, to the airport. Sister Clain had been serving in that mission while awaiting a permanent visa for the United States.

All missionaries in the France Paris Mission have been asked to remain in their apartments.

The First Presidency of the Church promptly issued a statement this morning in response to the bombings:

“With much of the world, we awoke this morning to the heartbreaking news of the bombings in Belgium. Our prayers are with the families of the deceased and injured, including three of our missionaries who were hospitalized. We also pray for the people of Belgium and France as they continue to deal with the uncertainly and devastation caused by the recent terror attacks.”

The Church released the following additional information at noon: “The Church has learned that the fourth missionary, Sister Fanny Rachel Clain, has also been hospitalized with minor injuries. As reported previously, she was with the three other missionaries who were injured, but had left them and passed through airport security when the explosion occurred. The Church will provide more information as we are able.”

Elder Mason S. Wells, 19, of Sandy, was injured in the Brussels airport terrorist explosion on March 22. Wells serves in the France/Paris Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo: LDS Church
Elder Mason S. Wells, 19, of Sandy, was injured in the Brussels airport terrorist explosion on March 22. Wells serves in the France/Paris Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Photo: LDS Church

Utah Governor Gary Herbert released the following statement regarding the three Utah missionaries on Tuesday morning:

“Jeanette and I, along with the three million residents of Utah are absolutely heartbroken to learn of this terrible tragedy. We are again reminded that the world we live in is a dangerous place, a place where the War on Terror has never ceased.

“We join with the rest of the world at this time in mourning for the people of Belgium. It is not uncommon for innocent victims to be targeted in these terrorist attacks, but seldom do we see people of faith who have forsaken everything—family, friends, school and careers—in order to share a message of hope and love with the world also fall victim.

“To the Norby, Empey and Wells families, please know that the state of Utah is united in prayer at this time for the health and well-being of your missionaries. As Utahns, we stand together with our fellow Americans and those around the world in our resolve to put an end to these acts of terror.”

Click below for an interview, posted by the LDS Church, with President Frederic J. Babin of the France Paris Mission regarding missionaries injured in the Brussels airport attack.

Brussels map. Source: LDS Church
Brussels map. Source: LDS Church

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