Brussels TERROR attack: 34 dead, 136 injured as 2 arrested after blast at airport & Metro
AT LEAST 34 people have been killed and 136 injured after three suicide explosions at Brussels airport and a metro station in attacks allegedly orchestrated by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.
At least 14 people have been killed and another 81 injured in the two large explosions at the airport, while 20 are dead and 55 have been injured - 10 of which are in a critical condition - after two blasts in Maelbeek metro station in Brussels
Several people are still trapped in the Maelbeek metro station, confirmed Belgian health minister Maggie De Block.
A Belgian news agency also reported that witnesses had said they heard gunshots and shouts of Arabic at the time of the airport explosions fuelling fears that this may have been an attack inspired by islamic State (ISIS) terrorists.
Two men were later arrested a mile away from the Maelbeek metro station at around 11am, some two hours before the blasts tore the train apart.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said there "may be one UK casualty" in the attacks.
Weapons have been found at the blast site at Zaventem airport, according to a Belgian news agency. The information has not yet been confirmed by an official source.
Three explosive devices have been recovered at the airport, one of which failed to detonate, according to Belgian media.
One explosion took place near Brussels Airlines while the other bomb detonated near the reception of American Airlines.
The large explosions have taken out glass windows at the entrance and much of the airport's ceiling has collapsed.
Two blasts happened on a metro near the European Parliament
The metro targeted by the terrorists is near the European Union (EU) headquarters.
There are now fears of several coordinated attacks across the city and the entire metro system has been shut down.
The Belgian prosecutor's office has now confirmed the attacks are suicide bombs.
The Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has slammed the attacks as "blind, violent, cowardly".
Mr Michel added: "We were feared an attack and it's happened."
The French President François Hollnade has called for "European unity" after the atrocities.
Armed police arrest two men near the metro stationTWITTER
A metro in central Brussels was also attacked
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: "We are at war".
Countries across Europe are tightening security following the attacks.
Emergency services are still searching for fatalities and injured in the rubble at both scenes.
An Iraq-based news agency says Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Injured passengers at Brussels airport
The cause of the two blasts, which occurred at around 8am this morning at an American Airlines check-in desk, are unknown at this stage.
There are unconformed reports that a bomb had been placed next to a check-in desk.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has posted on Twitter: "We are following the situation minute by minute. The absolute priority is for the victims and people who were at the airport."
French minister of the interior Bernard Cazeneuve has said an extra 1,600 security forces and police will be deployed on the streets in France which is also under a high terror alert.
Police in Britain are also stepping up security at key locations across the country.
It is unknown how many are injured
Belgian authorities have closed the metro in the capital of Brussels following the explosions.
The blasts occurred four days after the arrest in Brussels of Salah Abdeslam, suspected of being involved in November's Paris massacre that left 130 people dead and more than 300 injured.
Abdeslam's accomplice Najim Laacheaoui, who was in hiding with the Paris terrorist in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, is still on the run.
Belgian police had been on alert for any reprisal action.
The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo has announced the Eiffel Tower will be lit up with the colours of the Belgian flag this evening to honour the victims of the attacks.
Reports are saying at least 20 people have been injured and several dead
Social media showed 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.
Rudi Vervoot, the president of the Brussels region, said: "There has been an explosion in the airport. An emergency plan will certainly be activated."
A witness said: "I was in the check-in queue and I heard an explosion. I saw smoke, I saw people panicking and running towards the exit. There was a second explosion much closer to me.
"Everyone left the airport in panic, most people left their baggage."
Sources at the scene spoke of hearing two "very, very loud explosions".
He said: "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."
Witnesses have described feeling the ground rock and seeing dust coming from the ceiling.
Brussels Airport has confirmed on Twitter that two explosions have taken place and have asked people not to come to the airport.
The explosions have taken out the glass windows and the ceiling has collapsed
Train services to the airport have been cancelled and all flights from and to Brussels airport has been cancelled.
Airport security asked passengers to leave their luggage at the scene.
Abdeslam was captured by Belgian commandos on Friday after spending four months as one of the world's most wanted men.
Abdesalam played a key role in organising the Paris November 13 attacks in which 130 people were massacred, but he lost his nerve when it came to detonating his suicide belt – instead dumping it in a bin and making a run for it.
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders revealed police discovered Abdesalam was intent on rebuilding a terror network of his own.
Speaking at the German Marshall Fund’s forum he said the terrorist was "ready to start something" in Brussels.
He said: "We found a lot of weapons, heavy weapons in the first investigations, and we have seen a new network of people around him in Brussels."
Belgium has raised the terror level to its maximum for all airports in the region of Flanders.
The metro, bus routes and mainline train stations have all been shut down and Eurostar services have also been suspended until further notice.
Shops, commercial centres and certain schools and universities have been closed as a precaution while others are being guarded by security forces.
The EU areas and institutional buildings have also been closed. Terror alerts have been raised at parliamentary and EU institutions.
Police are carrying out spot-checks on people and cars as feelings of terror grip the country.
Telephone lines are down and authorities are advising people to use social media to contact loved ones.
Mr Michel has urged Belgian residents to avoid any movement from their current location.
The suicide blasts happened at around 8am this morning
Belgian MP Georges Dallemagne had just dropped his wife off at the airport when she heard the "massive explosions" and the roof caved in.
He said: "I dropped her off around 7.40am this morning, and she called me to say that there were explosions around 7.58am.
"She ran away immediately, in a state of shock, towards the Sheraton Hotel. Then she returned to pick up her baggage, realising that the danger in this zone had passed.
"It was then that she saw broken windows, victims leaving the airport, the elderly put on stretchers, and the emergency services arriving. She saw a part of the ceiling had collapsed. She said the two explosions were around the departure hall."
Other witnesses said they "felt shockwaves passing through the building".
10 people are reportedly dead after an explosion at Maalbeek metro station in Brussels
The Belgian Red Cross has made an appeal for blood donations as hospital workers rush to treat scores of injured people.
Facebook has activated at 'safety check' status for people in the Brussels area to tell their loved ones they are safe.
The border between France and Belgium has been shut down following the attacks, with roads, rail and air services closed.
French authorities will bar members of the public without tickets or identification from entering transports hubs.
Security at European institutions in Strasbourg have also been reinforced.
Belgian authorities have also stepped up security at nuclear sites.
Flights have been cancelled
A Slovenian diplomat was injured in the Brussels attacks on Tuesday, Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said.
Mr Erjavec told a news conference that the diplomat, who he did not name, was hurt in the metro blast on his way to work.
He said the diplomat was being treated in hospital but his injuries were not life threatening.
Prime Minister David Cameron said security at the UK's ports, airports and train stations would be stepped up following teh Brussels attacks.
He said: "We have held a COBRA meeting to make sure we are doing everything we can and we are enhancing security.
"These are difficult times, they are appalling terrorists and we will stand together to do everything we can.
"Although they attack our way of life and who are, we will never let them win.
"We still have information coming in. If there's information that advises there is a direct threat to Britain we will raise the security threat level.
"We will continue to keep the situation under review and make sure we do everything we can.
"We face a very real terrorist threat right across the different countries in Europe.
"It's too early to say (about British victims) but we will make announcements when we have hard information."