Flight attendant covered in blood and rubble in iconic bombing photo wakes from coma

Krystal Johnson

The flight attendant who was photographed in the immediate aftermath of the Brussels bombings covered in blood and rubble inside the airport has awoken from her coma.

The horror of Nidhi Chapekar's blood-splattered face spread across the world's news within moments of the bombing, showing the panic inside the Zaventem international airport during devastating terrorism attack in Belgium on the morning of March, 22, 2016.

Nidhi Chapekar is pictured covered in blood, rubble and ash in a picture which globally went viral. Photo: Ketevan Kardava for Georgian Public Broadcaster/AP

The 42-year-old stewardess arrived at Brussels airport and was preparing to meet with colleagues from Jet Airways Mumbai for flight number 9W228.

At around 8:00am, witnesses say they heard shots in the departure hall and someone shouted in Arabic before two explosions erupted inside the airport.

Moments after bombs went off, Ketevan Kardava managed to take a picture of Chapekar showing the immediate aftermath of the massacre.

In the photo, the dust- and blood-covered air hostess looks at the the camera with her yellow blouse blown open, completely shell-shocked.

Nidhi Chapekar' woke from her coma 25 days after he blast and was met by her husband. Photo: Facebook

Chaphekar suffered burns on 15 per cent of her body, a fractured foot. She was hospitalised and kept in a medically induced coma for 25 days.

Once the air hostess woke in the Grande Hospital de Charleroi she was met by her husband, Rupesh, who sitting by her side.

"She opened her eyes, looked up at me and just smiled. I assured her that everything would be fine now," he told Mail Online.

The husband said his wife has an idea she has been asleep for a while but did not think she realised how many days has passed.

The family said they have not discussed the blast with her.

The departures terminal in a Brussels airport was targeted by terrorists. Photo: Twitter
The airport departures terminal was left shattered following the bomb blasts. Photo: Twitter

Chaphekar had worked for the airline Jet Airways for the past 15 years and the company released a statement after the explosion saying she was responding well to treatment and could be discharged as early as next month.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombings at Brussels airport and at Maalbeek metro station that left around 35 people dead and more than 200 injured in the city home to NATO and EU headquarters.

Kardava, the woman who took the photo, has apologised for the image and said she was in shock and needed to show the world what was happening in that moment of terror.

"I was in shock," Kardava told USA Today in a street interview.

"Everyone was covered in blood. All had lost their legs. I also looked at mine, with my hands, I wanted to feel them."

Just moments before Brussels airport bomber Ibrahim El Bakraoui (centre) detonated a deadly explosive package, he dumped a major clue into a nearby bin. Photo: Getty Images

Amid an atmosphere of rubble, shouting, dust and noise of crushed glass, Kardava said it was "instinctive" and posted the image to Facebook along with the caption: "Bang ... Help!"

In addition to appearing in all newspapers and news in the world, the photograph instantly trended on social networks with the hashtag #PrayForNidhi.

Another confronting photo that was taken by Kardava shows former basketball player, Sebastien Bellin, 37, lying in his own pool of blood the ground.