Man texted family to say he was safe moments before boarding bomb blast Metro

Picture: @syhartleyjones on Twitter.

Picture: @syhartleyjones on Twitter.

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A man missing in the aftermath of the Brussels terrorist attacks texted his family to say he was safe following the airport bombing but then boarded the Metro train that was blown up killing at least 20 people.

The desperate search continues to find David Dixon, a man with links to Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, who is missing after the terrorist attacks in Brussels.

The 53-year-old was on his way to work in the Belgian captial city when a bomb exploded on the underground system on Tuesday morning (March 22).

Family and friends of the IT programmer are concerned for his welfare after an explosion on a train at Maalbeek metro station and two blasts at Zaventem Airport in the city.

He is believed to have sent a text message after the airport bomb, letting his family know he was safe and well, before he boarded the Metro.

Mr Dixon is believed to have lived in Brussels for the past ten years with his partner Charlotte Sutcliffe - who is originally from Creswell - and their seven-year-old son.

On Facebook, his friend Rachel Stevenson said Mr Dixon was on the metro at the time of the attacks and had not been heard from since. He did not arrive at work after Tuesday morning’s blasts.

Mr Hartley-Jones, another friend, added: “David is a programmer and works in the centre of Brussels. He makes his way there every day using the metro system. For some reason he hasn’t made it and we’re really concerned about him.

“It’s really unusual for him not to contact Charlotte - it’s really out of character.”

He described Mr Dixon, originally from Hartlepool, as ‘a lovely guy’ and ‘an amazing man who deeply deeply loves his son’.

The family, who have a house in the Mapperley area of Nottingham, were due to visit over Easter, Mr Hartley-Jones said.

The couple’s son was staying with friends and was unaware that his father was missing, he added.

Ms Sutcliffe has been driving from hospital to hospital in Brussels trying to find him.

Her sister Marie described the situation as ‘heartbreaking and worrying’.

She said her sister was ‘very distressed’ and that everybody in Brussels was ‘struggling with communication’.

The bombs killed at least 34 people and left about 200 more seriously injured.

The group calling itself Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Two of the men who carried out attacks have been named by Belgian media as the brothers Khalid and Brahim el-Bakraoui.

The RTBF broadcaster said the brothers were known to police and had criminal records.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Tuesday was ‘a day of tragedy, a black day’.

The country has raised its terrorism alert to the highest level.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “These are appalling and savage terrorist attacks and I’ve spoken to the Prime Minister of Belgium to give our sympathies and our condolences to the Belgian people.

“We need to stand together against these appalling terrorists and make sure they can never win.”

A Government spokesman said: “We are concerned about one missing British national and we are in close contact with the Belgian authorities.

“We are aware of four British nationals who were injured in the attacks - three are being treated in hospital, one has already been discharged.

“Our embassy staff are working to assist all British nationals affected.”

Keep checking our website for updates on this developing story.

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