Brussels airport attack is second major bombing for this Utah teen

Updated - November 17, 2021 01:59 am IST

Published - March 23, 2016 12:56 pm IST

Surviving a major bombing is the extraordinary and repeated situation that one Utah teen can live to tell about.

Mason Wells, a 19-year-old from Sandy, Utah, is expected to make a full recovery from the bombing attack at the Brussels airport Tuesday, which left him with a surgery scar, severed Achilles tendon, head gash, shrapnel injuries and severe burns.

Wells had once again found himself at the center of a major attack standing within feet of a bomb that exploded at the Belgian airport. >The blasts in the Belgian capital killed at least 34 people and wounded dozens at the airport and a subway train.

Three years ago, Wells and his father felt the ground shake and narrowly escaped death from the April 2013 attack in the U.S., when a pressure-cooker bomb exploded a block away from where they were watching his mother run the Boston Marathon.

“Hopefully he’s run his lifelong odds and we’re done,” said Chad Wells about the oldest of their five children. “I think it will make him a stronger person ... Maybe the Boston experience was there to help him get through this experience.”

The former high school football and lacrosse player had four months left on his two-year Mormon mission, and was planning to major in engineering at the University of Utah next fall. He also wanted to reapply to the Naval Academy after barely missing the cut after high school, his father said.

“I’m completely shocked by the news. It’s the kind of thing as a parent you never, ever want to wake up to,” Chad Wells said. “We’re just grateful that’s he lived through this experience.”

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