Italian woman missing in Brussels

EC official Patricia Rizzo missing after terror attacks

(ANSA) - Rome, March 23 - Patricia Rizzo, an Italian official for a European Commission agency, is among the missing people after Tuesday's Islamist terror attack at the Maalbeek station of the Brussels metro, ANSA sources said on Wednesday. The woman's family and friends are looking for her in hospitals in the city, her cousin Massimo Leonora said on Facebook, asking for assistance in finding Rizzo. "We're been here since this morning and we still don't know anything," Leonora told ANSA, speaking from the burns unit of Queen Astrid Military Hospital. "The police asked Patricia's parents to fill out a form...they are looking for identifying marks". Earlier on Wednesday, the Italian foreign ministry said it is highly likely an Italian national is among the 32 confirmed victims. Former transport minister Maurizio Lupi said after a meeting of party whips at Premier Matteo Renzi's office Wednesday that the government was trying to verify whether an Italian woman was killed in the attacks.
    So far 32 civilians are confirmed dead and another 270 wounded, many of them severely.
    Three suicide bombers also died. "The premier informed us that verification of a possible Italian victim is taking place," Lupi told reporters. "(The possible victim is) a woman who went missing. The phase of identification (of the body) is underway. The family is with the consul in Brussels. (Rizzo) normally took the metro...
    but the violence of the explosion has made the victims unrecognizable".
    Also on Wednesday, foreign ministry sources said Rizzo's family is being assisted by the Italian embassy in Brussels for the recognition of what may be her remains. The attacks were carried out with explosives packed with nails to inflict maximum bodily harm.
    Rizzo served as a manager at the Parma-based European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) from 2003-2008. "Patricia was a staffer for our two previous executive directors," EFSA Media Relations Officer Francesca Avanzini said. "We are all worried about her".