3 Mormon missionaries from Utah injured in Brussels attack

From left: Elder Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi, Utah; Elder Joseph Empey, 20, of Santa Clara, Utah; and Elder Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy, Utah. (Photos courtesy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Three Mormon missionaries from Utah were among dozens injured in an explosion at the Brussels airport Tuesday.

Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, identified the three Americans as Elder Richard Norby, 66, of Lehi, Utah; Elder Joseph Empey, 20, of Santa Clara, Utah; and Elder Mason Wells, 19, of Sandy, Utah.

Hawkins said the trio was accompanying a fourth missionary to the airport as she departed for a mission in Ohio when the explosion happened.

That fourth missionary had already passed through security, but did suffer minor injuries in the attack and was treated at a hospital. She was identified as Fanny Rachel Clain, 20, from Montelimar, France.

The three missionaries from Utah have been hospitalized with "serious injuries."

The governor of Utah praised the three missionaries and offered support to their families.

A statement from Gov. Gary Herbert praised the Utah natives as "people of faith who have forsaken everything - family, friends, school and careers - in order to share a message of hope and love with the world."

Thousands of Utah Mormons have served proselytizing missions around the world. Mormons account for as many as two-thirds of the state's population.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks in Brussels, saying its extremists opened fire in the airport and "several of them" detonated suicide belts.

The posting in the group's Amaq news agency said another suicide attacker detonated in the metro.

ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
newsu.s. & worldbrussels attacksterrorism
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