Belgium, Brussels: Today, explosions, at least one likely caused by a suicide bomber, rocked the Brussels airport and subway system, prompting a lockdown of the Belgian capital and heightened security across Europe. At least 26 people were reported dead. A spokesman for the Brussels Metro said 15 people were killed and 55 injured in an explosion on a train, and Belgian media reported at least 11 dead in two explosions at the airport, with many others injured.
Two explosions targeted the main hall of Zaventem Airport at around 8:00am, with a third hitting the Maalbeek metro station, near the European Union’s main buildings, just as commuters were making their way to work in rush hour. The blasts come days after the dramatic arrest in Brussels on Friday of Salah Abdeslam, the prime suspect in the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people in November, after four months on the run.
There were chaotic scenes at the airport as passengers fled in panic, with a thick plume of smoke rising from the main terminal building. The blasts smashed the windows of the departure hall and sent ceiling tiles shattering to the floor. Brussels Airport serves over 23 million passengers a year.