UPDATED: Latvians witness Istanbul airport terror attack

A flight from Riga to Ataturk airport in Istanbul Monday landed shortly before explosions and gunfire ripped through the airport, causing passengers to take cover and fear for their lives. 

However, none of the Latvian arrivals appear to have been among the victims as events unfolded in the nearby departure terminal, though confusion prevailed.

Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday that according to information received from Istanbul, no Latvians were among the dead or injured.

"The Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, on behalf of Latvia, offers heartfelt condolences to the people of Turkey in relation to deadly explosions at Ataturk Airport, Istanbul," a statement said Tuesday.

36 people have been killed and almost 140 wounded in a series of blasts.  

Travellers are requested to take into account that flights may be cancelled, and follow information provided by airlines. Travellers on site are urged to keep calm and follow the advice of Turkish authorities.

Residents of Latvia and their family members can check the latest information by calling to the 24-hour telephone number of the Consular Service: +371 26 33 77 11 or writing to [email protected]

One passenger, Rihards Kalnins, was on the scene as events unfolded and described the scenes in a series of dramatic tweets, given below.

Rihards spoke to LSM on Tuesday, saying the situation became surreal with passengers hiding out and getting their information from social media about what was happening just 200 meters away around the corner where police and terrorists were engaged in a gun batttle.

He estimated that around 20 Latvians had been on board the plane that landed shortly before the explosions, which had not been full, and many passengers had headed in other directions to catch connecting flights. 

Rihards Kalnins on Ataturk airport attack

 

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