What an awful day for the people of Brussels. Hope law enforcement will catch these terrorist swine.
Cowering under desks and running for their lives, this is the terrifying moment passengers were caught up in a suicide bomb attack at Brussels Airport today in a series of blasts that have killed at least 34 people and injured 170 across the city.
Witnesses described apocalyptic scenes with blood and ‘dismembered bodies everywhere’ after two blasts rocked the terminal at around 8am (7am GMT), killing at least 14 people and injuring dozens of others.
Then 79 minutes later at 9.19am, at least 20 people were killed and scores injured, some critically, when a blast hit a Metro station just 400 metres from the EU headquarters in the city centre.
There were also reports the Tihange nuclear power plant, around 90km from the capital, is being evacuated of all non-essential staff as Belgium raised security to its maximum level.
At the airport, there were reports of a firefight between police and the attackers who shouted in Arabic moments before detonating their bombs.
An unexploded suicide vest was later found in the rubble and a Kalashnikov rifle beside the body of a dead terrorist.
The blasts, which detonated near the American Airlines and Brussels Airlines check-in desks, sent shockwaves through the terminal building, shattering windows and knocking roof tiles off the ceiling as terrified passengers ran for their lives.
The explosions, coming just four months after the Paris attacks, have left countries around the world reeling, with security services placed on high alert, flights cancelled, Eurostar services suspended and France’s border with Belgium shut down.
Two suspects were arrested a mile from the Maelbeek metro station at around 11am as hundreds of troops and police flooded the streets of Brussels in the hunt for members of the terror cell.
Soldiers have been also been deployed at the airport and other key locations across the capital.
The bombings come just a day after the Belgium Interior Minister warned of possible revenge attacks after the arrest of Paris massacre suspect Salah Abdeslam in the city on Friday.
Photographs from inside the arrivals hall showed the floor covered in fallen tiles and dust as bloodied people hobbled out of the airport. Others injured were photographed lying on the floor.
Video showed terrified passengers running for their lives out of the building.
Firefighters who entered the terminal to search for survivors are said to have found a third unexploded device, while armed police in protective clothing combed the building for more wounded travellers and suspicious bags.
The attacks came just a day after a secret police dossier revealed there could be up to 90 ‘kamikazes’ waiting to launch suicide bomb attacks in Europe after returning from Syria disguised as migrants.
Speaking today, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said: ‘What we feared has happened.In this time of tragedy, this black moment for our country, I appeal to everyone to remain calm but also to show solidarity.’
The British Foreign Office today confirmed one Briton had died in the explosions and another UK citizen is understood to have been injured in the airport attack.
Samir Derrouich, who works at a restaurant in the airport, told MailOnline: ‘The two explosions were almost simultaneous.
‘They were both at a check-in desk. One was close to the Starbucks. It was awful. There was just blood. It was like the apocalypse.’
Dries Valaert, 30, was waiting to get his boarding pass from a check in desk when the blast struck.
He said: ‘There was a first blast and then ten seconds later a second explosion. It was a big, big blast, the ceiling went down. It was just 30 metres from where I was.
‘I saw people down on the ground and I just went running. I jumped over the security fences towards the departure gates as I thought it would be safer.
‘My first intuition was to get out in case their were attackers with guns. I saw a woman around 18 years old with a hole in her hand with blood pouring out and a man with an injured ankle and two people down. There was lots of panic. People were running all over the place.’
Mr Valaert, who was flying to a business meeting in Berlin, said he believed the bombs were hidden in suitcases that had just been checked in.
He said: ‘The explosions were just behind the service desks, they were blown towards us. To me it is the most realistic possibility. I don’t think it was someone with a suicide vest.’
Alphonse Youla, who was working on a stand putting security wrapping around suitcases, said: ‘I heard a man shout some Arabic words then an explosion… then a second explosion, a massive explosion, much bigger.’
Speaking with blood on his hands and struggling to hold back tears, he added: ‘It was a horror. I saw at least seven people dead. There was blood. People had lost legs. You could see there bodies but no legs.’
He added: ‘I saw two men face down with blood pouring out of their heads. The injuries were so awful. You cannot imagine. People were so injured.
‘I did not see the man who shouted in Arabic as he was behind me. I just heard the words. I don’t speak Arabic so I don’t know what he said.’
In the aftermath, thousands of people waiting for flights this morning were penned inside the terminal as police sealed off the shattered arrivals hall.
People already checked in were then slowly evacuated through emergency exits – but were told to leave all their hand luggage as police checked bags for more explosives.
Evacuated passengers are being ferried onto buses and are being driven to a ‘crisis centre’ away from the airport, with women and children being moved first.
All flights are being diverted from the airport this morning as it remains on lockdown.
Flights due to land at Brussels-Zaventem, which handles 21million passengers a year, were sent to Antwerp, Liege, and Brussels Charleroi airports.
Europe’s biggest airports are all increasing their security today. Heathrow confirmed it had stepped up its own ‘visible’ security in the wake of the attacks – with large units of armed police patrolling the airport this morning.
American Airlines confirmed that its planned flight from Brussels to Philadelphia in the US, which had been scheduled to depart at 9.40am had been cancelled in the wake of the blasts.
A spokesman said: ‘We are aware of an incident at the Brussels airport departure hall and are taking care of our customers, employees and contractors. At this time, all of our employees and contractors are accounted for with no reported injuries.
‘American Airlines flight 751 has been cancelled for today. When operations at the airport resume, we will re-accommodate our customers.’
Brussels Airport has announced it will be closed until at least Wednesday following two explosions in the departure hall.
Terrorists then blew up a crowded Metro station in the city centre at around 9.19am, killing at least 10 people and seriously injuring dozens more.
Shocking images from Maelbeek station show smoke pouring out of the building and casualties littered on the pavement outside, just 400metres from the EU’s headquarters.
Commuters on the Metro at the time described hearing a loud bang before they were evacuated from trains and forced to walk down smoke-filled tunnels and along the track to the closest safe station.
Emergency services at the scene were carrying the dead and injured out of the station on stretchers.
Alexandre Brans, 32, who was wiping blood from his face, said: ‘The metro was leaving Maelbeek station when there was a really loud explosion. It was panic everywhere. There were a lot of people in the metro.’
Brussels resident Shigeo Sugimoto said he was one stop away from where the metro was hit and heard people shouting.
He wrote on Facebook: ‘I am fine !! But I was in the metro when suddenly some one start shouting explosions!!! Evacuation!!!
‘Ouch!!! I was just one station ahead before when explosion happened!!!!!!!!’
He posted pictures showing cars and people standing in the road and wrote: ‘Maerbeek (sic) now apocalypse!!!’