Bombs exploded at the Brussels airport and one of the city’s metro stations on Tuesday, killing 34 people and wounding dozens, as a European capital was again locked down amid heightened security threats. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The blasts, at least one of them blamed on a suicide bomber, left behind a chaotic scene of splattered blood in the departure lounge as windows were blown out, ceilings collapsed and travelers streamed out of the smoky building.
About an hour later, another bomb exploded on a rush-hour subway train near the European Union headquarters. Terrified passengers had to evacuate through darkened tunnels to safety.
“What we feared has happened,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters. “In this time of tragedy, this black moment for our country, I appeal to everyone to remain calm but also to show solidarity.”
Latest updates (in IST):
11:48 pm: A Belgian prosecutor says police raids are happening around the country after two men “probably” staged suicide bombings at the Brussels airport and a third fled.
Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said Tuesday that the third suspect is actively being sought by police.
10:30 pm: Federal police in Belgium have issued a wanted notice for a suspect in the Brussels airport bombing that they are still trying to identify.
9:30 pm: Islamic State claims responsibility for Brussels attacks
7:50 pm: U.S. President, Barack Obama says Brussels another reminder that world must unite to fight terrorism.
7:02 pm: “There are some 20 people dead and 106 people injured (in metro blast). 17 people are severely injured,” said Yvan Mayeur, Brussels Mayor.
6:55 pm: “In solidarity with the people of Brussels, Paris will light up the Eiffel Tower this evening in the colours of the Belgian flag,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted. >Read more
6:25 pm: "One British national injured in Brussels explosions, no confirmation of any other casualties," U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesperson said.
5:45 pm: Jet Airways staff are arranging immigration formalities for transit passengers to get them out of the airport in Brussels.
5:40 pm: Transit guests who were in the terminal building have been shifted to hangers in coaches: Jet Airways.
5:35 pm: Belgium's royal palace in central Brussels was not evacuated following the bomb blast at Maelbeek metro station, the palace said in an official twitter message.
5:15 pm: “Terrorists struck Brussels but it was Europe that was targeted,” French president said.
5:10 pm: Public broadcaster VRT said 81 people had been wounded at the airport, many in the legs, suggesting a bomb in a bag on the floor. >Full report
4:48 pm: German Interior Minister said, the mutiple attacks signal that this was an attack not just on Belgium but on Europe's freedom of movement.
4:42 pm: I have seen reports about two but we have confirmation only of one: Vikas Swarup on Jet Airways crew injured. ANI
4:33 pm: No information now whether attacks related to Paris suspect arrested last week: Belgian Prime Minister
4:30 pm: Brussels police spokesman, Christian De Coninck says, there were deaths at the Maelbeek metro station near European Union headquarters.
(Passengers walk on underground metro tracks to be evacuatedaftter the explosion at Maelbeek train station. Photo: Special arrangement)
4:20 pm:>Belgian PM says military reinforcements deployed. Attackers blind and coward.
4:15 pm: Britain's crisis response committee to meet after Brussels blasts, says Cameron
4:10 pm: "Thankfully they are in the safest part of the airport," Singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya on his family stranded at Brussels Airport. ANI
3:52 pm: Two Jet Airways staff injured in the blast: Jet Airways. >Read more
3:50 pm: "Jet Airways guests in Brussels re-located to a safe location by Brussels Airport authorities. Passengers & staff have been cordoned off and are not allowed to access the airport terminals," says Jet Airways. ANI
3.38 pm: "News from Brussels is disturbing. The attacks are condemnable. Condolences to families of the deceased. May those injured recover quickly," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. >Read more
3.35 pm: Belgium’s federal prosecutor confirms Brussels blast was a suicide attack.
However, an Indian lady crew member of Jet Airways is injured. She has been rushed to the hospital./2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) >March 22, 2016
3.30 pm: Jet Airways flights cancelled for March 23: Flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Brussels. "All guests with confirmed tickets to and from Brussels till March 26 will be allowed full refund of tickets," says Jet Airways. ANI
I am in touch with Mr Manjeev Puri Indian Ambassador in Brussels. He has informed me that so far there is no report of any Indian casualty.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) >March 22, 2016
3.16 pm: All flights from Mumbai to Brussels cancelled until further notice. - ANI
3.15 pm: No one killed in an explosion in a Brussels Metro carriage, public broadcater VRT said.
3.10 pm: Brussels airport is closed until 6 a.m. on Wednesday and all incoming and departing flights are cancelled.
2:50 pm: Main railway stations are closed in Brussels.
2:44 pm: Dutch Military boosts security at airports and borders after Brussels attacks.
2:42 pm: Brussels transport authority has closed all public transport in Brussels.
2.25 pm: Belgian broadcaster VRT says 13 dead, 35 severely injured after Brussels explosions.
2.15 pm: Belgian public broadcaster VRT says the Brussels airport bomb was a suicide attack.
2.05 pm: The metro station explosion took place at the Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels.
2.02 pm: Brussels transport authority says all metro stations in Brussels are closing.
2.00 pm: Belgian broadcaster RTBF cites hospital source saying up to 10 dead, 30 wounded after Brussels explosions.
1.58 pm: Making all efforts to confirm status of all staff and guests. Preliminary info says the Jet Airways aircraft in Brussels safe: Jet Airways — ANI
1.55 pm: ANI reports — Have spoken to our Ambassador, no reports of any Indian casualties — Vikas Swarup, MEA.
1.54 pm: Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel says his government is monitoring the situation minute-by-minute.
Nous suivons la situation minute par minute. La priorité absolue va aux victimes et aux personnes présentes dans l'aéroport >@BrusselsAirport— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) >March 22, 2016
1.53 pm: Explosion at Brussels metro station close to EU institutions, reports Belgian broadcaster RTBF.
1.45 pm: Belgium raises security alert to maximum level 4 across country - Belga quotes interior ministry
1.38 pm: All flights at the airport have been suspended, the air traffic control service added.
1.35 pm: Images of Brussels airport show extensive damage, ceiling tiles on floor - Belgian TV
1.32 pm: Video shows people fleeing the airport after multiple explosions were heard.
1.31 pm: Shots were fired, Arabic shouted before the explosions, Belgian media reports.
1: 30 pm: The official Twitter handle for the airport, @BrusselsAirport, tweeted:
There have been 2 explosions at the airport. Building is being evacuated. Don't come to the airport area.— Brussels Airport (@BrusselsAirport) >March 22, 2016
Don't come to the airport - airport is being evacuated. Avoid the airport area. Flights have been cancelled.— Brussels Airport (@BrusselsAirport) >March 22, 2016
1.20 pm: On social media, people shared pictures of smoke rising from the departure hall where all windows had been shattered by the blast. Passengers were seen running away down a slipway from the departure lounge.
1.15 pm: Sky News television's Alex Rossi, at the scene, said he heard two “very, very loud explosions".
“I could feel the building move. There was also dust and smoke as well...I went towards where the explosion came from and there were people coming out looking very dazed and shocked.”
“The thinking here is that it is some kind of terrorist attack — that hasn't been verified by any of the authorities here at the airport.”
1.02 pm: Belgian media said rail traffic to the airport was suspended.
1.00 pm: There was no immediate official comment on the cause of the attack.