A huge terrorist attack has taken place in Brussels, Belgium at the airport and the subway station. This comes after Belgian authorities arrested several terror suspects and attempted to stop the flow of migrants.
From NBC News:
At least 26 people were killed Tuesday after explosions rocked the check-in zone of Brussels Airport and the Belgian capital’s subway. Officials raised the terror threat level, shut down all public transport in the city and advised locals to stay indoors after what appeared to be coordinated attacks. Belgium’s federal prosecutor said one of at least two explosions at the airport was likely caused by a suicide bomber. Prime Minister Charles Michel added that it was “dark moment for our country.”
The apparent strikes by terrorists come amid a flurry of counterterrorism activity in the city and follow a raid on Friday that captured Europe’s most wanted man — Salah Abdeslam — in connection with the Paris attacks. Authorities confirmed an explosion at Maalbeck metro station killed at least 15 people and injured 55 others. The country’s ministry of health confirmed that at least 11 people had been killed at the aiport.
Passengers fled the airport’s departures hall after the first incident around 8 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET). Pictures from the smoky terminal showed bloodied victims, shattered glass and debris.
A security source told NBC News that one of the airport explosions happened near check-in desk four in Departure Hall 1, which is used by international carriers including American Airlines. Eyewitness Jef Versele was heading on a business trip to Rome when he heard an explosion.
“Soon after that one a second one hit — and everything came down,” he told NBC News. “There was dust everywhere, glass everywhere there was chaos. There were people on the floor everywhere. The roofing came down. It was quite a mess.”
Versele added: “A lot of people were in panic. I saw a lot of blood, a lot of people were injured. People were crying, on the floor, covered by parts of the roofing. I saw a lot of leg injuries, a lot of people couldn’t move anymore. There were quite a lot of people injured. In the departure hall — you saw people storming out, it was like run for your life.”Roads and public transportation leading to the airport were shut and incoming flights were diverted.
Scenes from the subway explosion showed smoke pouring out of the station — which is located near European Union institution buildings. Images posted on social media showed injured people receiving medical treatment on the sidewalk outside. Michael Ryan, head of the EU delegation to Rwanda, was coming up the escalator at another station just a few hundred feet away when he felt a “soft boom.”
“The air pressure from the explosion went up the line and rattled everything,” he told NBC News. “Everything is tense here.” All trains, planes, trams and buses were halted in Brussels. The main Midi train station was evacuated. Sunita Van Heers had come to the train station after seeing the metro was on lockdown. Then police evacuated the station.
“Everybody started panicking, crying, not knowing what was happening,” she said, describing how police ordered people away from the station. “It’s scary.” The rapidly unfolding crisis caused cellphone networks in Brussels to jam, with officials urging people to use WhatsApp or Twitter because the networks were becoming saturated.
Here’s a video report on the attack:
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