Connect with us

World

Attacks on Brussels airport, metro station kill about 20: Belgian media

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Attacks on Brussels airport, metro station kill about 20: Belgian media | Thaiger

PHUKET: A suicide bomber blew himself up at Brussels airport on Tuesday killing at least 11 people and a further blast tore through a rush-hour metro train in the capital shortly afterwards, claiming 10 lives, according to public broadcaster VRT.

A witness said he heard shouts in Arabic shortly before two blasts struck the packed airport departure lounge. Pictures on social media showed smoke rising from the terminal building through shattered windows and passengers fleeing down a slipway, some still hauling their bags.

All public transport in Brussels was shut down, as it was in London during 2005 militant attacks on the underground that killed 52. A further 225 soldiers were sent into the city and the Belgian Crisis Centre, clearly wary of a further incident, appealed to the population: “Stay where you are”.

The blasts at the airport and metro station occurred four days after the arrest in Brussels of a suspected participant in November militant attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. Belgian police had been on alert for any reprisal action.

British Sky News television’s Alex Rossi, at the airport, said he heard two “very, very loud explosions”.

“I could feel the building move. There was also dust and smoke as well…I went toward where the explosion came from and there were people coming out looking very dazed and shocked.”

Alphonse Youla, 40, who works at the airport, said he heard a man shouting out in Arabic before the first explosion. “Then the glass ceiling of the airport collapsed.”

“I helped carry out five people dead, their legs mangled,” he said, his hands covered in blood.

The blasts triggered concern across western Europe with Britain and France calling emergency security meetings. The Dutch military strengthened security at airports and borders and Britain stepped up police presence at key locations including transport hubs.

Video showed devastation inside the departure hall with ceiling tiles and glass scattered across the floor. Some passengers emerged from the terminal with blood spattered over their clothes. Others sat wrapped with blankets.

A witness said the blasts occurred at a check-in desk.

Belga news agency cited the fire brigade as saying 11 were killed at the airport, but there was still some uncertainty about casualties.

The metro station hit by the explosion was Maelbeek, close to European Union institutions.

The VRT broadcaster carried a photograph of a metro carriage at a platform with doors and windows completely blown out, its structure deformed and the interior mangled and charred. It said ten were killed in the blast.

A local journalist tweeted a photograph of a person lying covered in blood among smoke outside Maelbeek metro station, on the main Rue de la Loi avenue which connects central Brussels with the EU institutions.

Ambulances were ferrying the wounded away and sirens rang out across the area.

FLIGHTS CANCELED, PASSENGERS EVACUATED

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said on his twitter feed: “We are following the situation minute by minute…For now, we are asking everyone to avoid all movement.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose country is also on a high security alert, expressed shock over the attack. “We will do everything we can to help.”

Brussels airport said it had canceled all flights until at least 6 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Wednesday and the complex had been evacuated and trains to the airport had been stopped. Passengers were taken to coaches from the terminal that would remove them to a secure area.

All three main long-distance rail stations in Brussels were closed and train services on the cross-channel tunnel from London to Brussels were suspended.

Security services have been on a high state of alert across western Europe for fear of militant attacks backed by Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attack.

While most European airports are known for stringent screening procedures of passengers and their baggage, that typically takes place only once passengers have checked in and are heading to the departure gates.

Although there may be discreet surveillance, there is nothing to prevent member of the public walking in to the departure hall at Zaventem airport with heavy baggage.

Following an attempted ramraid attack at Glasgow Airport in 2007, several airports stepped up security at entrances by altering the pick-up and drop-off zones to prevent private cars getting too close to terminal buildings.

European stocks fell after the explosions, particularly travel sector stocks including airlines and hotels, pulling the broader indices down from multi-week highs. Safe-haven assets, gold and government bonds rose in price.

French citizen Salah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect for November’s Paris attacks on a stadium, cafes and a concert hall, was captured by Belgian police after a shootout on Friday.

Belgium’s Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, said on Monday the country was on high alert for a revenge attack.

“We know that stopping one cell can … push others into action. We are aware of it in this case,” he told public radio.

— Reuters

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 mins ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases and 22 deaths

Krabi17 mins ago

Krabi hotels pin hopes on Phuket sandbox success

Tourism50 mins ago

Tourism bodies concerned vaccination uncertainty will disrupt re-opening

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Indonesia1 hour ago

Over 350 vaccinated medical workers in Indonesia infected, dozens hospitalised

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Nightlife businesses petition government to reopen, sell alcohol

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Koh Larn 70% vaccinated as Pattaya eyes reopening

Economy14 hours ago

BMA extends permits for street vendors to 2 years for stability

Phuket16 hours ago

Expats in Phuket without a work permit can register for a Covid-19 vaccine

Environment16 hours ago

Tar balls wash ashore on several Phuket beaches

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Private vaccines, PM promises to re-open Thailand, Phuket Sandbox | June 17

Thailand16 hours ago

2 dead following truck crash

Thailand16 hours ago

Outbreaks at factories rise, operators ordered to file Covid risk assessment

Thailand17 hours ago

Prayut going to Phuket, see if it’s Sandbox ready

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Chulabhorn Royal Academy details Sinopharm vaccine insurance

Thailand18 hours ago

Thai-English auto-translate down on Facebook due to “technical issues”

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending