Three explosions at Brussels international airport and a city metro station have left dozens dead or seriously wounded Tuesday morning. Belgian federal prosecutor Frédéric Van Leeuw is calling all three blasts “terrorist attacks,” according to the Associated Press.
Two of the explosions ripped through the departures area of Zaventem airport 7 miles northeast of Brussels just after 8 a.m. local time (3 a.m. EDT). A third blast hit Maelbeek metro station an hour later at morning rush hour. Belgian broadcaster VRT reported 13 people dead at the airport, with at least 35 others severely injured. Leeuw said it was “probably a suicide bomber” who struck the international airport, according to BBC News.
Eyewitness Jef Versele was slated to fly out of Zaventem on a business trip to Rome when he heard a loud blast. “Soon after that one, a second one hit — and everything came down,” he told NBC News. “There was dust everywhere, glass everywhere, there was chaos. There were people on the floor everywhere. The roofing came down. It was quite a mess.”
He added: "A lot of people were in panic. I saw a lot of blood, a lot of people were injured. People were crying, on the floor, covered by parts of the roofing. I saw a lot of leg injuries, a lot of people couldn't move anymore. There were quite a lot of people injured. In the departure hall — you saw people storming out, it was like, run for your life."
— RT (@RT_com) March 22, 2016
Brussels transit spokesman Guy Sablon said at least 15 people were killed and 55 injured in the subway station attack, AP reported. Scenes from the explosion showed smoke billowing out of the Maelbeek metro station near central Brussels. Eyewitness Sunita Van Heers arrived at the station after seeing the metro was on lockdown. Police then started evacuating the area.
“Everybody started panicking, crying, not knowing what was happening,” she told NBC News. “It’s scary.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 22, 2016
The airport and the entire transport system have been shut down in the wake of Tuesday’s explosions, which come four days after Salah Abdeslam, the main fugitive in the November terrorist attacks in Paris, was arrested in Brussels. It’s not yet known whether there’s any connection.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called Tuesday’s attacks a “dark moment for our country.” European Union president Donald Tusk said: "These attacks mark another low by the terrorists in the service of hatred and violence.”