Families of Missionaries Injured in Belgium Explosion Release Statements

  • 23 March 2016

Map of Belgium, where four LDS missionaries were injured in Tuesday's explosion at the Brussels airport.

The families of the three American missionaries seriously injured in the explosion at the Brussells airport in Belgium March 22 released the following statements today on MormonNewsroom.org:

Family of Elder Mason Wells (19) of Sandy, Utah

Elder Mason Wells (19) of Sandy, Utah.

“We are grateful that our son, Elder Mason Wells, survived the attack and is receiving quality medical care. We have spoken to him briefly and he feels blessed that he wasn’t injured more, given his close proximity to the bomb. He has undergone surgery to repair his Achilles tendon, and he’s also been treated for burns and shrapnel injuries. As a family, we feel the power of prayer from those we know and those who only heard Mason’s name for the first time today. We will continue to pray and hope for everyone affected by this tragedy.” —Chad and Kymberly Wells

Family of Elder Joseph Empey (20) of Santa Clara, Utah

Elder Joseph Empey (20) of Santa Clara, Utah.

“This has been a difficult day for our family, and our hearts are broken for those injured or killed by the attacks in Belgium. We are grateful our son, Elder Joseph Dresden Empey, is alive and doing well. He has been treated for second-degree burns to his hands, face, and head, and surgery was just completed for shrapnel injuries to his legs. We have been in touch with him and he is grateful and in good spirits. We have also been in contact with his mission president. We are thankful for the outpouring of love and prayers from throughout the world, and we pray for all those affected by this tragedy.” —Court and Amber Empey

Family of Elder Richard Norby (66) of Lehi, Utah

Elder Richard Norby (66) of Lehi, Utah, pictured with his wife, Sister Pamela Norby

“Richard Norby, a missionary serving in the Paris, France mission was injured in the bombing of the Brussels Airport on Wednesday 22 March 2016. He sustained several wounds from the shrapnel, second-degree burns to his head and neck area, along with more severe trauma from shrapnel to his lower leg. After a lengthy surgery, he was placed in a medically-induced coma, and will remain in this state for the next few days, with a lengthy recovery expected. His wife, Pamela Norby, was not at the airport at the time of the attack and is supporting him during this challenging time.

“As his family, we wish to express our deep appreciation to his caring and competent medical staff and to all those who have expressed well-wishes and prayers on his behalf. We wish to express our love to the Paris, France mission president, President Babin, his wife, and the fine missionaries. Our prayers go out to all those who were affected by this terrible tragedy and wish for the speedy recovery of all the wounded bystanders.” —The Norby Family

The three missionaries had been accompanying a fourth missionary—Sister Fanny Rachel Clain (20) of Montélimar, France—who had been serving in that mission while awaiting a permanent visa for a mission assignment in Ohio.

Sister Clain was with the three other missionaries who were injured but had left them and passed through airport security when the explosion occurred. She was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Sister Fanny Rachel Clain (20) of Montélimar, France.

An video interview with the Mission President Frederic J. Babin is on MormonNewsroom.org.

All missionaries in the France Paris Mission have been asked to remain in their apartments.

The First Presidency of the Church promptly issued a statement Tuesday in response to the bombings:

“With much of the world, we awoke this morning to the heartbreaking news of the bombings in Belgium. Our prayers are with the families of the deceased and injured, including three of our missionaries who were injured and hospitalized. We also pray for the people of Belgium and France as they continue to deal with the uncertainty and devastation caused by the recent terrorist attacks.”