Ketevan Kardava took the photo of two women which captures the horror experienced by those at the scenes of the Brussels attacks.
Kardava, a special correspondent of the Georgian Public Broadcaster, was at the departure hall of Brussels’ Zaventem Airport on her way to Geneva on assignment, when the first explosion blasted.
Her first instinct was to take out her camera.
“As a journalist, it was my duty to take these photos and show the world what was going on. I knew I was the only one at this spot,” she told TIME.
As a journalist on the ground at the time of the attacks, Kardava knew it was crucial to capture those first moments of terror.
“What do you do in this situation if you’re a journalist? Help? Ask doctor to come? Or take a photo?” she told USA Today. “In that very moment, I realised that to show the world what was happening in this moment of terror, a photo was more important.”
Once Kardava realised she wasn’t injured, she shouted for help for people who needed it. Eventually, armed soldiers came to the rescue and told everyone that able to run to run.
Speaking with USA Today she spoke of her predicament.
“The people I photographed were not able to run and I wasn’t able to help them. It was very, very difficult for me to leave them. I was the only person on my feet. I wanted to help all of them but I couldn’t. I left them. I had to — we expected a third explosion,” she said.
Kardava’s photo of the two women has now been published and shared across the globe. Overnight it has become the iconic photo of encapsulating the horror of the terror attacks.
“I don’t know how I did it. I don’t know how I took that photo. As a journalist, it was my instinct. I posted it on Facebook and wrote ‘Explosion … Help us.’”
Post by Ketevan Kardava.
She now truly realises the gravity of terror attacks.
“I’ve lived here for 8 years and I’ve covered a lot of things, even the Paris terror attacks. But now I know. It can be anywhere, any time. Now I realize the meaning of the phrase ‘terrorism has no boundaries’,” she told USA Today.
Kardava will now stay in Brussels to report on the situation.