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Istanbul terror attack witness describes random act of kindness after bombing

by Scott Stump /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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A tourist who witnessed the chaotic and bloody scene during Tuesday's deadly terror attack at an Istanbul Airport is thankful for a kind stranger who helped him after the assault.

Rihards Kalnins and his wife had just arrived on a flight from Latvia when a coordinated attack blamed on ISIS left at least 41 dead and more than 230 injured.

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The couple walked several miles down a highway from the airport following the attack before a stranger gave them a ride to safety at the nearest metro train station in the city.

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"It was encouraging to see that even in situations like this, the random acts of kindness and the kindness of strangers also prevails,'' Kalnins told Matt Lauer on TODAY Wednesday.

Kalnins and his wife landed at 9:25 p.m. local time and headed toward the passport control area when the attack began.

"All of a sudden people turned around and started rushing toward us,'' he said. "People were screaming, we heard people yelling 'bomb,' people yelling that someone had a gun."

After about three tense hours, the couple exited the airport and saw the horrific results of the damage.

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"A lot of smashed glass, collapsed ceiling, blood on the floor,'' Kalnins said. "Things seemed to have calmed down now, but last night the scene here was pretty chaotic as people came and gathered to wait for their friends and families to leave the airport and also take away the wounded."

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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