Explosions at Brussels Airport

Explosions at Brussels Airport
Explosions at Brussels Airport

Two explosions have ripped through Brussels airport during the rush hour causing several casualties.


It is now being reported that this was a suicide attack.

Latest reports indicate that 13 people are confirmed dead and 35 have been seriously injured


There has been a second blast at  Malbeek Metro station, full story here


Shots were fired and Arabic shouted before the blasts, according to Belgian news agency Belga.

Earlier reports

The suspected terror attack came as the Belgian capital was on a state of high alert following the arrest of Paris atrocity suspect Salah Abdeslam in the city last week.

Images on social media showed shattered windows and smoke rising from an airport building.

Video footage shot from an airport car park showed people fleeing in terror.

According to local media, there were several dead and injured.

Footage from inside the building showed a scene of devastation with ceiling tiles strewn across the floor and suitcases abandoned.

Airport spokeswoman Anke Fransen said: "There were two blasts in the departure hall. The first aid team are in place for help."

Passengers were led onto the tarmac and travellers were urged to stay away from the airport.

The incident came as the Belgian capital was on a state of high alert following the arrest of Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam in the city last week.

Sky News Middle East correspondent Alex Rossi, who was at the airport en route for Tel Aviv, told the channel: "I could feel the buildings move."

According to reports the incident centred on an American Airlines desk in a departure hall.

Belgian media were reporting several casualties.

Mr Rossi told Sky News people were "dazed and shocked".

"The word is definitely two explosions.

"The thinking here by everybody is that it is some kind of terrorist attack although that hasn't been verified by anyone here at the airport.

"No word too of casualties. Don't know how the explosion took place, the method if you like. But it certainly seems Brussels airport has been targeted in a terrorist attack.

"We are all being moved out of the airport now towards the emergency exit. There is a great deal of confusion here. Certainly there are a number of very upset, as you might imagine, very frightened people."

He added: "There are fears that there might be other attackers."

Several people are understood to have been injured in the blasts.

Pictures and footage of the explosions have emerged online, with visible smoke rising from the airport entrance.

An evacuation of the airport is currently underway, but security officials have yet to comment on the incident.

Abdeslam, suspected as a planner in the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, was arrested on Friday after a four-month manhunt, in the same neighbourhood in Brussels where he grew up.

But the Belgian authorities fear he had accomplices while on the run who are still at large and could pose a threat.

Belgian prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw told reporters at a news conference in Brussels on Monday: "(It's clear) we have a general threat."

Abdeslam, 26, a French citizen who grew up in Brussels' Molenbeek neighbourhood, slipped through police fingers on several occasions, including the day after the attacks.

He was interviewed three times on Saturday, the day after his capture - once by prosecutors and twice by an investigating judge - and "wasn't in great shape" because he had been shot in the leg by police during his capture, Mr Van Leeuw said.

Belgian prosecutors appealed to the public on Monday for information about a man who allegedly travelled to Hungary last year with Abdeslam.

Najim Laachraoui, 24, is said to have travelled to Syria in February 2013.

He was checked by guards at the Austria-Hungary border while driving in a Mercedes with Abdeslam and one other person.

Laachraoui is said to have rented a house under the name of Soufiane Kayal in the Belgian town of Auvelais that was allegedly used as a safe house.

Prosecutors said traces of his DNA were found there.

Abdeslam has a court hearing on Wednesday. France has requested his extradition but Abdeslam's lawyer says his client will fight the request.