Two explosions occurred at the Brussels airport, Belgium on Tuesday. Police confirmed at least one death. The French newspaper Le Figaro reported that 11 people had been killed, but this has not been confirmed. There has been official confirmation that the blasts were a terrorist attack.
According to French media reports, there were two explosions minutes apart just before 8am at Brussels Airport - one in the departures area and one on or near the runway. A false ceiling collapsed causing lots of dust and smoke. The departures area had easy access to the public, but the runway area would have been closed to public access and raises questions about how the explosion could have happened there.
Photos posted on Twitter show significant damage to the Brussels airport. VRT said at least one of the explosions happened near the check-in desks for American Airlines. Belgian news agency Belga, cited by Reuters, said shots were fired and Arabic was shouted before the two explosions. Eyewitnesses reported a massive amount of broken glass in the departure hall. TV pictures also showed people fleeing the terminal, while smoke billowed from the roof of the airport. A false ceiling collapsed, causing lots of dust and smoke.
“We saw a few people injured, we saw the glass front of the building had exploded, glass flying around,” said Daniela Schwarzer, the head of the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, who was leaving Brussels after a weekend conference there.
Brussels airport has been closed and people have been advised not to come to the area. Controls have been stepped up at Charleroi airport, about 46km to the south of Brussels. All planes flying to Brussels airport have been diverted. Belgium’s interior minister said the country’s terror threat had been raised to its highest level. The blasts come four days after the capture of Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in last year's Paris attacks.
Francophone broadcaster RTBF as well as VRT also reported another explosion at the metro station of Maelbeek, close to the European institutions in central Brussels. It was unclear how many people were injured in that attack.
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