Blasts Rock Brussels
Two explosions occurred at the city’s airport. Several people were killed, according to the country’s public broadcaster, RTBF. Initial reports say up to 10 people were killed and more than 30 people were injured.
Another blast at a subway station occurred in the suburb of Maalbeek, near the European quarter, where much of the European Union is based, according to CNN affiliate RTL. All metro stations in the city have been closed, according to the official Twitter account for the city’s transportation agency.
The Belgian crisis center tweeted that all public transportation in the city has been closed.
“Stay where you are,”Â it said.
Kristalina Georgieva, the vice president of the EU Commission,Â said thatÂ all the organization’s institutions are at “alert level orange” and that all meetings on its premises and outside have been canceled.
She advised people to stay at home or indoors.
Federal police at the airport at Zaventem told CNN that “there has been an explosion” and “something has happened.”
Dozens of people have been taken on stretchers out of the airport, according to eyewitnesses.
The Brussels airport tweeted that there have been two blasts and said that “the building” is being evacuated. They also said all airport operations have been suspended and asked those nearby to remain calm.
Anthony Barrett said he heard something at about 8 a.m. local time from his hotel across from the terminal building.
“When I opened the curtains and looked out, I could see people fleeing,” he told CNN.
He said he’s seen about 19 or 20 stretchers carrying people so far. Luggage trollies were also being used to transport the wounded.
“It’s clearly a very serious incident,” he said.
It’s unclear what caused the blasts, or if they’re related to terrorism.
The airport is currently being evacuated and a disaster plan has been initiated, according to CNN affiliate RTL. Passengers have been directed to the runways.
Witnesses told RTL at least one of the two explosions took place in the airport’s departure hall.
Passenger Jeffrey Edison had cleared security and was out by the gate several hundred yards away from the departure lounge, where the explosions occurred. He told CNN he didn’t hear the blasts but “suddenly saw” 200 to 300 people rushing toward him from the security checkpoint.
He says it took authorities around 25 minutes to inform the passengers of what had happened, before evacuating the area and leading the passengers to the airport’s runways.
“I am shocked and concerned by the events in Brussels,” British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted. “We will do everything we can to help.”
The incident comes after Salah Abdeslam, a man who authorities say was involved in the Paris terror attacks last year,Â was arrested in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek on Friday.