Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Updated : In Photos : Deadly Explosions Rock Brussels Airport And Subway



At least 34 were killed and 172 more injured.

brusselssubwaymaelbeekbomb.jpg

Rescue workers treat victims outside the Maelbeek metro station after a blast, in Brussels, Belgium, in this image taken from a March 22, 2016 video

An injured man lies on the ground after the terror attacks in Brussels

All public transport in Brussels was shut down, as it was in London during 2005 militant attacks on the underground that killed 52. The Belgian Crisis Centre, clearly wary of a further incident, appealed to the population: "Stay where you are".

One of the blasts at the airport is believed to have been a suicide bombing.



Bombs tore through the main airport for the Belgian capital and a subway station in central Brussels on Tuesday, a day after authorities said a suspect in the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris terror attacks -- possibly the bomb-maker -- was likely loose in the city.



At least 26 people were killed in what Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said were "terrorist attacks" in the city, which has been on high alert since the Paris carnage last year.




U.S. officials told they believed Americans had been injured in the blasts, but there was no confirmation on the number or condition of the casualties, and the State Department was still trying to track down families.


Police presence across the E.U. and the U.S. have been ramped up in the wake of the attacks.

Policemen speak at a security perimeter near Maalbeek metro station

Belgian police officers detain a man at the Gare du Midi train station in Brussels

Belgium's public broadcaster RTBF said at least one suicide bomber was behind the two explosions at the airport. A U.S. official told that at least 11 people were killed and dozens injured in the blasts in the departure hall at Brussels Airport.


EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS Deadly Explosions Hit Brussels Airport

Brussels Zaventem airport explosions: Smoke seen as people run from blasts

Some witnesses told the blasts struck near the American Airlines desk in the departures hall. Belgian media reported that gunshots were heard, and shouting in Arabic, before the explosions.



About an hour after the explosions at the airport, there was a blast at the Maelbeek Metro station in central Brussels, very near the U.S. Embassy and European Union headquarters. The Metro system was shut down. Emergency workers could be seen treating several injured people outside the metro station at Maelbeek.




A spokesman for the company that operates Brussels' transport system said at least 15 people died in the Maelbeek Metro attack and 55 more were wounded.


The incidents occurred just days after the suspected mastermind of the Paris terror attacks was arrested.


"The Metro was leaving Maelbeek station for Schuman when there was a really loud explosion," Alexandre Brans, 32, told the AP as he wiped blood off his face. "It was panic everywhere. There were a lot of people in the Metro."



Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon raised the nation's terror alert to its maximum level in the wake of explosions at the airport, indicating authorities believed a terrorist attack to be imminent.



"What we feared has happened," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said, urging his nation to "be calm and show solidarity."




It was atrocious. The ceilings collapsed," traveller Zach Mouzoun, who flew in from Geneva just minutes before the first explosion at the airport, told . "There was blood everywhere, injured people, bags everywhere... We were walking in the debris. It was a war scene."



All flights in and out of Brussels Airport were cancelled, and all public transport in the Belgian capital was also shutdown. Eurostar trains in and out of Brussels from the rest of Europe were also cancelled Tuesday.




CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata said the Belgian royal palace, home to the king and queen, was evacuated.


Deadly explosions rocked a Brussels airport and train station Tuesday morning, just days after the suspected mastermind of last year’s Paris terror attacks was captured.


Belgian police said that at least 11 people were killed in a bombing and an apparent suicide attack at the Zaventem airport, where gunfire was also reported. An additional 15 were killed in blasts at the Maelbeek metro station, Flemish public broadcaster VRT said, citing transit officials.


metro

A Kalashnikov assault rifle was found at the airport, Belgian media reported.



Police arrested one of the prime suspects in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, on Friday in the now-notorious Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek. On Monday, officials said they were still searching another man, identified as Najim Laachraoui -- who may have been group's bomb-maker.



according to Belgian authorities, Laachraoui's DNA was found on the explosives used in the gun and suicide attacks in Paris. The carnage in Paris is believed to have been planned largely in Brussels, where a handful of the attackers lived or had links. That attack was blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but the attackers were "home-grown" militants, from Europe.




His whereabouts are unknown, and prosecutors admitted Monday they weren't close to solving the puzzle.


Both the airport and all Brussels metro stations were evacuated. Flights to and from Brussels were suspended and all city public transportation—including trains, buses, and trams— was shut down.



in 2015 alone, Belgium convicted 33 people of joining or supporting ISIS -- some of them in absentia as they were believed to be in Syria. That, said Palmer, may just have been the tip of the iceberg.



Belgium's prime minister said there was no information immediately available to suggest a link between Tuesday's attacks and the arrest on Friday of Abdeslam.



However, a U.S. official told that the attacks have all the hallmarks of ISIS, and the fact that it could happen just shows how "relentless" the terrorists are in attempting to pull off attacks. The official said the attacks in Brussels exposed weaknesses in airport security as well as on subway systems worldwide.




Video and photos from Brussels Airport, which is located in Zaventem, a suburb just northeast of the capital, showed windows of the main terminal blown out with smoke rising from the shattered panes.


Eurostar trains service was also halted.

brussels-airport-bomb-3.jpg

Passengers crowd toward exits inside the main terminal of Brussels Airport, in Belgium, after a couple of apparent bomb blasts in the main terminal, March 22, 2016



live images of passengers being herded by airport staff toward exits away from the scene of the explosions. The mood seemed tense but orderly and mostly calm. Sky's Alex Rossi, who was in the terminal at the time of the blasts at about 8 a.m local time (3 a.m. Eastern), said they caused the building to shake.



Video from the main departures hall, taken on cell phone by a passenger, showed dozens of ceiling tiles and other debris on the floor.




Passengers were being told by airport officials to leave their hand luggage on the floor and to continue toward airport exits. Outside, passengers gathered on the tarmac and were guided onto buses to be transported to a crisis center.


Damage inside Brussels airport 

Witnesses described a chaotic scene as emergency personnel worked to treat the wounded and clear the area.


People react outside Brussels airport after explosions rocked the facility in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday March 22, 2016. There was another blast at a subway station, just days after the main suspect in the November Paris attacks was arrested in the city, police said.



“I helped carry out five dead, with their legs destroyed, as if the bomb came from a piece of luggage,” Alphonse Youla, an airport worker said. 


Two women were wounded in the attacks at Brussels Airport.


Airport workers embrace as they leave the scene of explosions at Zaventem airport near Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2016. 

Damage at Brussels Airport after an explosion

“It was atrocious. The ceilings collapsed,” one witness at the airport the French TV station BFM. “There was blood everywhere, injured people, bags everywhere.”


In this image made from video, emergency rescue workers help an unidentified person at the site of an explosion at a metro station in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22, 2016.



Another airport witness told Politico’s Tara Palmieri that “it was an apocalypse.”


Rescuers give a victim first aid on March 22, 2016, near Maalbeek metro station in Brussels.

Damage at Zaventem airport in Brussels

Abdel MelloulIt was working near the subway station when the blasts went off. 


People walk away from Brussels airport after explosions rocked the facility in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday March 22, 2016.

A plume of smoke rises over Brussels airport after an explosion

“It was terrible,” he told De Standaard.”I saw people who were completely burnt, there was a lot of blood.”


A wounded man is seen at the Zaventem Airport in Brussels, where several people were killed Tuesday morning. 


In this image taken from TV an injured person is evacuated as emergency services attend the scene after an explosion in a main metro station in Brussels on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

Passengers and airport staff console each other after being evacuated from the terminal building at Brussels airport

The metro station is close to both the European Union headquarters and U.S. Embassy.


Smoke rising from the Maalbeek underground, in Brussels, following a blast at the station close to the capital's European quarter on March 22, 2016.

Passengers who were evacuated from the airport wait in Zaventem

The EU buildings were placed on lockdown and staff were advised to stay home.


trains being evacuated between two affected stations in Brussels


People are seen at the scene of explosions at Zaventem airport near Brussels, Belgium

Passengers and airport staff are evacuated from the terminal building after explosions at Brussels Airport

“We are following the situation minute by minute,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said. "The victims and the people present at Brussels Airport are the absolute priority.”


People react as they walk away from Brussels airport after explosions rocked the facility in Brussels, Belgium Tuesday March 22, 2016. 

Treating the injured outside a Brussels Metro station

Michel encouraged those seeking information about loved ones to call 1771, a crisis hotline.


People are evacuated from Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, on March 22, 2016. 

Schuman Metro station in Brussels closed

The mayor of Antwerp said it was “the darkest day in the history of our country since WWII.”




A young girl looks out of the window of a bus after being evacuated from Brussels airport, after explosions rocked the facility in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday March 22, 2016. 

Explosion at Maalbeek Metro station in Brussels

The Belgian royal family called the attacks “cruel and cowardly.”


People react as they walk away from Brussels airport after explosions rocked the facility in Brussels, Belgium Tuesday March 22, 2016.



The scene at Brussels airport immediately after the explosion

Injured people at Maelbeek Metro station in Brussels

“The king and queen’s thoughts are with the victims and their families, as well as the first responders who are doing everything to help the victims,” they said in a statement.


World leaders expressed both condolences and concern.

“Today is a black day for #Europe,” German justice minister Heiko Maas said. “The horrible events in #Brussels affect us all. We are steadfastly at the Belgians’ side.”


People react as they walk away from Brussels airport after explosions rocked the facility in Brussels, Belgium Tuesday March 22, 2016. 



Officials in France and the U.K. increased security and called emergency meetings to discuss the situation. 


People react outside Brussels airport after explosions rocked the facility in Brussels, Belgium Tuesday March 22, 2016. 



U.S. President Barack Obama, who is on a state trip to Cuba, was also briefed on the incidents. 



In a statement, American Airlines said it was aware of the incident and that "all of our employees and contractors are accounted for with no reported injuries."



The attacks in Brussels quickly sent shockwaves around Europe, and the world, with the French halting trains in and out of Paris' main Gare du Norde station, and British authorities stepping up security around public transport hubs.



"Terrorists struck Brussels but it was Europe that was targeted," said French President Francois Hollande.



Across the Atlanic, a U.S. law enforcement source told CBS News there was no new information or intelligence to suggest there was a credible threat to U.S. homeland, but authorities were exercising an abundance of caution.



In Washington D.C., a Metro spokesman told that while there were no specific or credible threats against the network, it was standard procedure to increase security and visibility of police following an attack like Brussels, so commuters in the U.S. capital should expect to see a higher level of visibility from police around the transit system.




Police in New York City were also ramping-up visibility and patrols.


People are evacuated from Brussels airport after explosions rocked the facility in Brussels, Belgium Tuesday March 22, 2016. 



People wrapped in blankets leave the scene of explosions at Zaventem Airport near Brussels, Belgium,

Police in New York, Los Angeles, and D.C. said that they were ramping up security.


Suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam was charged on Saturday after being captured the day before. 130 people were killed in the November 2015 attacks.



In this image taken from TV, an injured person is evacuated as emergency services attend the scene after an explosion in a main metro station in Brussels

Police said on Monday that another suspect may still be at large.


Airport staff comfort each other as passengers are evacuated from Zaventem Airport after a terrorist attack on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium



A victim receives first aid by rescuers on March 22, 2016 near Maelbeek metro station in Brussels.



A security perimeter has been set around Maelbeek metro station in Brussels, after the explosion



A Belgian soldier stands guard outside the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels on March 22, 2016, after an explosion



People wrapped in blankets leave the scene of explosions at Zaventem Airport near Brussels, Belgium



A private security guard helps a wounded woman outside the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels



A victim is evacuated on a stretcher by emergency services after an explosion at the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels



Injured people are seen at the scene of explosions at Zaventem Airport near Brussels, Belgium



A man with bloodstains on his sweater leaves Zaventem Airport on March 22, 2016, following twin blasts



Rescue teams evacuate wounded people outside the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels



Rescue workers treat victims outside the Maelbeek metro station, in this still image taken from video, after a blast in Brussels, Belgium



People stand near Brussels Airport after being evacuated following explosions that rocked the facility



A Belgian police helicopter flies above the area near Maelbeek metro station, on March 22, 2016, in Brussels, after an explosion



In this image taken from TV, people receive treatment as emergency services attend the scene after an explosion at Maelbek metro station in Brussels



A police-dog handler patrols after Eurostar trains to Brussels were cancelled at St Pancras station in London



In this still image taken from video from RTL, people receive treatment in the debris-strewn terminal at the airport in Brussels after explosions Tuesday, March 22, 2016



Firefighters arrive at a security perimeter set in the Rue de la Loi near the Maelbeek subway station, in Brussels, on March 22, 2016, after an explosion



A police officer, right, stands guard as people are evacuated near Brussels Airport, after explosions rocked the facility on March 22, 2016



In this image made from video, emergency rescue workers assist an unidentified person at the site of an explosion at a metro station in Brussels, Belgium



Ambulances arrive at the scene at Brussels airport, after explosions rocked the facility



People stand near Brussels Airport after being evacuated following explosions that rocked the facility



Armed officers walk along a street as they evacuate the area around Maelbeek station in Brussels, Belgium, in this still image taken from video on March 22, 2016.



People react outside Brussels Airport after explosions rocked the facility on March 22, 2016



In this image taken from TV, an armed member of the security forces stands guard as emergency services attend the scene after a explosion in a main metro station in Brussels