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The Situation

Suicide bombing at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkey, late June 28 kills at least 36 people, injures at least 147. 

Arriving and departing flights canceled.

The Turkish Justice Minister has confirmed that two explosions inside Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) were caused by suicide bombs detonated by unidentified individuals.  The blasts occurred inside the international terminal around 2200 June 28, reportedly before the attackers had cleared the airport's security screening procedures. Initial reports of gunfire at the airport remain unconfirmed. At least 36 fatalities and possibly as many as 147 injuries have been reported, though the number of casualties is likely to increase as additional information becomes available. No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. All airport operations have been suspended in the immediate aftermath of the incident; all scheduled arrivals and departures have been canceled. Flights en route to IST may be diverted to nearby Sabiha Gocken Airport (SAW). Passengers are reportedly being transferred to area hotels. Expect ancillary disruptions across the Turkish Airlines (TK) network. Eyewitness reports indicate the explosions caused considerable damage to the affected terminal; IST is likely to operate at reduced capacity until authorities have completed their investigation into the incident, and repairs have been completed. Turkish police and military personnel will almost certainly mobilize a massive security response to the incident. Expect road closures and ground transport disruptions in the vicinity of the airport. In the wake of the incident, the Turkish security apparatus is likely to crack down on groups and individuals suspected of involvement. Police will probably conduct anti-terror raids across Istanbul.


Avoid the area near the blast site as authorities investigate the attack. Allow additional time for travel due to heightened security; contact airlines for information on the status of flights to/from IST. Do not check out of hotels until onward transport is confirmed. Be polite and cooperative if engaged by security personnel.

What should I do during any terrorist bombing?

If you are in a bombing event:

  • Leave the area immediately.
  • Avoid crowds. Crowds of people may be targeted for a second attack.
  • Avoid unattended cars and trucks. Unattended cars and trucks may contain explosives.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings to avoid falling glass and bricks. Move at least 10 blocks or 200 yards away from damaged buildings.
  • Follow directions from people in authority (police, fire, emergency, or military personnel, or from school or workplace supervisors).
  • Call emergency number once you are in a safe area, but only if police, fire, or emergency has not arrived.
  • Help others who are hurt or need assistance to leave the area if you are able. If you see someone who is seriously injured, seek help. Do not try to manage the situation alone.

What should I do after the bombing?

When the explosion is over:

  • Follow your family, job, or school emergency disaster plan for leaving and staying away from the scene of the event. Remember, returning to the scene will increase the risk of danger for rescue workers and you.
  • Avoid crowds. Crowds of people may be targeted for a second attack.
  • Avoid unattended cars and trucks. Unattended cars and trucks may contain explosives.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings to avoid falling glass and bricks. Move at least 10 blocks or 200 yards away from damaged buildings.
  • Follow directions from people in authority (police, fire, emergency or military personnel, or from school or workplace supervisors)..
  • Listen to your radio or television for news and instructions.

What if rescue workers are not available to transport me or other injured persons?

Police, fire, emergency dispatch and ambulance might be delayed indefinitely following a terrorist event, therefore:

  • Always have a back-up plan for transportation.
  • Follow advice from your local public safety offices (local health department, local emergency management offices, fire and police departments and reliable news sources).

When should I go to the hospital or clinic?

Seek medical attention if you have any of the following problems:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent cough
  • Trouble walking or using an arm or leg
  • Stomach, back or chest pains
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision or burning eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Rash or burning skin
  • Hearing problems
  • Injuries that increase in pain, redness or swelling
  • Injuries that do not improve after 24 to 48 hours

What can I expect at the hospital?

Long waits. To avoid long waits, choose a hospital farther away from the event. While this might increase your travel time, you might receive care sooner.
Triage. Following a terrorist attack or other disasters, injuries are generally treated on a “worst first” basis, called “triage.” Triage is not “first come, first served”. If your injuries are not immediately life threatening, others might be treated before you. The goal of triage is to save as many lives as possible.
Limited information. In a large-scale emergency such as a terrorist attack, police, fire, EMS, and even hospitals and clinics cannot track every individual by name. Keep in mind that it may be difficult for hospitals to provide information about loved ones following a terrorist attack. Be patient as you seek information.

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