Terror Attacks Rock Brussels Airport, Subway
At least 31 dead as city locked down
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2016 3:11 AM CDT
Updated Mar 22, 2016 8:00 AM CDT
Smoke is seen at Brussels' airport in Brussels after explosions were heard Tuesday.   (Daniela Schwarzer via AP)
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(Newser) – Brussels has been locked down after what authorities fear were multiple terrorist attacks on the city's subway system and main airport. Transportation has been shut down and citizens have been urged to stay at home. According to Belgian media, at least 31 people have been killed and dozens more seriously injured.The latest developments:

  • All flights to the Zaventem airport were suspended after twin explosions hit the departure area at around 8am local time: one near the American Airlines desk and one near the Brussels Airlines desk, the Guardian reports. Passengers were evacuated amid scenes of panic.
  • Witnesses say the blasts caved in the ceiling in the departure area. "It was atrocious. The ceilings collapsed," a survivor told reporters. "There was blood everywhere, injured people, bags everywhere. We were walking in the debris. It was a war scene."

  • CNN reports that the city's Metro system was shut down after an explosion at a subway station in Maelbeek, near European Union headquarters, soon after the airport blasts. "The Metro was leaving Maelbeek station for Schuman when there was a really loud explosion," a survivor with a bloodied face tells the AP. "It was panic everywhere. There were a lot of people in the Metro."
  • Reuters reports that according to Belgian news agencies, shots were fired and shouts in Arabic could be heard before the airport explosions.
  • According to Belgian broadcaster VTM, at least 11 people died in the airport explosions; the AP reports 20 died in the subway attack, with more than 100 injured.
  • Belgium's federal prosecutor has confirmed that suicide bombers were behind the airport attack, the Guardian reports.
  • Brussels Airlines tweeted that the airport will remain closed until 6am Wednesday. All flights to and from the city have been canceled or diverted and rail services have also been suspended.
  • The explosions come four days after the arrest in Brussels of Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam. The BBC reports that on Monday, the country's interior minister warned that authorities were on high alert for revenge attacks.

 

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