As it happened: Multiple blasts rock Brussels; 26 killed and 130 injured in attacks

Mar, 22 2016 IST

  • 17:33 (IST)

    Belgium raises security level to maximum; airport, metro network shut down completely. 

  • 17:23 (IST)

    Brussels attacks in pictures

  • 17:17 (IST)

    US President Barack Obama has been briefed about the attacked in Belgium. 

  • 17:08 (IST)

    French President holds briefing on the attacks in Belgium

    During this ordeal we must show cohesion and solidarity.

    We are all aware of the fact, we are concerned.

    Many countries have shown their solidarity.

    I wish to be with you and to also express myself on this topic. Security is an attractive factor of any country. I am expressing myself on behalf of France. 

  • 17:03 (IST)

    Facebook activates 'safety check' system in the wake of the attacks in Brussels: 

    Facebook has activated its "safety check" system to help people check on friends and loved ones in the aftermath of the attacks in Brussels.

    The company says Tuesday the system was put in use within hours of the three explosions at the Brussels airport and a metro station.

    It says the system can provide an easy way for people to mark themselves as "safe" after a major disaster or crisis so that people searching for them will know they are unharmed.

    The system has been used recently to help people communicate after major floods and earthquakes as well as terrorist attacks.

  • 16:53 (IST)

    Updates on Metro Station bombings in Brussels: 

    The metro operator in Brussels confirmed that 15 people were killed and 55 were injured at the Maelbeek station. 

  • 16:50 (IST)

    French President, Francois Hollande said, "The whole of Europe has been hit" in the wake of the bomb blasts that occurred in Belgium today. 

  • 16:44 (IST)

    Donald Trump tweets about the blasts

    Donald Trump tweeted after the bomb blasts that occurred today in Brussels, killing at least 23 people that Brussels used to be a "safe" place and that it was not anymore. He warned that the US should be more "vigilant" and "smart". 

  • 16:42 (IST)

    Raw footage of the bomb blasts in Brussels today. 

  • 16:27 (IST)

    Three blasts were terrorist attacks, confirm Belgian prosecutors

  • 16:26 (IST)

    Controlled explosion near metro station was caused by bomb disposal team

    As fears of a new attack surfaced after another explosion was heard, it turned out that it was just a controlled explosion caused by the bomb disposal team.

  • 16:23 (IST)

    This is a dark moment for our nation: Belgian PM

    The Belgian PM Charles Michel said that although they could not point out the number of victims killed and injured in the attack, the attack at the airport was a suicide attack.

    "This is a dark moment for our nation. We need calm and solidarity," he said.

  • 16:19 (IST)

    PM to visit Brussels on 30 March

  • 16:18 (IST)

    Russian PM expresses condolences

  • 16:17 (IST)

    Our mission in Belgium is closely monitoring situation: MEA

    MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the MEA will closely monitor the situation in Belgium for PM Modi's visit there.

  • 16:11 (IST)

    Russian PM expresses condolences

  • 16:05 (IST)

    US Embassy in Brussels issues statement

  • 16:02 (IST)

    France deploys 1600 more police officers at border

    According to Al Jazeera, France has deployed 1600 more police officers at the border and on transport after the explosions.

  • 15:59 (IST)

    Death toll rises to 23

    According to CNN, Belgian media is now saying that the total death toll has climbed to 23.

  • 15:56 (IST)

    Jet Airways issues new statement

    Jet Airways Statement:As a result of the situation in Brussels, the following Jet Airways flights have been...

    Posted by Jet Airways on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    Jet Airways Statement: As per initial information, Jet Airways guests in Brussels have been re-located to a safe...

    Posted by Jet Airways on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

  • 15:54 (IST)

    Facebook launches safety check for Belgium

    Facebook has launched its safety check notification in the wake of the Brussels explosions.

  • 15:51 (IST)

    Appalled by the bombings: European Council President

    European Council President Donald Tusk in a statement has said that he is "appalled by the bombings this morning at Zavantem airport and the European district in Brussels which have cost several innocent lives and injured many others."

    "These attacks mark another low by the terrorists in the service of hatred and violence," he said in the statement.

  • 15:47 (IST)

    French-Belgian border closed

  • 15:46 (IST)

    Deeply worried by Brussels attacks: EU Parliament

  • 15:39 (IST)

    American Airlines releases statement

  • 15:37 (IST)

    Footage from metro station after the explosions

  • 15:35 (IST)

    PM Modi condemns Brussels attacks

  • 15:34 (IST)

    Belgium national football team cancels training session

  • 15:31 (IST)

    Indian lady injured after explosions, confirms Sushma Swaraj

  • 15:29 (IST)

    Death toll now at 21

  • 15:23 (IST)

    Death toll now at 21

  • 15:21 (IST)

    Security tightened at Delhi Airport, all flights from Mumbai to Brussels cancelled

  • 15:18 (IST)

    Avoid any movement: Belgium's PM tells people

    Belgium’s Prime Minister, Charles Michel, has warned the Belgian public to “avoid any movement” for the time being.

  • 15:13 (IST)

    Emergency numbers for Indians in Belgium

  • 15:11 (IST)

    People injured after the explosion at Brussels airport

  • 15:08 (IST)

    The Jet Airways flights had landed just a while before the blasts

    Two Jet Airways flights, one from Delhi and the other from Mumbai, had landed just a little while before the twin bomb blasts at the Brussels airport, data with aviation website Flightradar24 showed.

    Jet Airways said it will soon be issuing a separate statement on the incident.

    According to the data with the website, Jet Airways flight 9W 228 from Mumbai landed at Brussels at 7.11 am local time while the one from Delhi 9W 230 landed at 8.08 am. 

    The Delhi flight would have reached Brussels just minutes after the bomb blast at the Departure airport at 8.00 am. - IANS

  • 15:05 (IST)

    Gul Panag's husband is part of the Jet Airways crew

  • 15:04 (IST)

    Two Indians reportedly injured

  • 15:01 (IST)

    Brussels Airport helpline number

  • 14:51 (IST)

    Brussels Airport helpline number

  • 14:47 (IST)

    Here are the locations in Brussels where the blasts took place

  • 14:45 (IST)

    Will be chairing COBRA meet on Brussels attack: Cameron

  • 14:43 (IST)

    Buses also shut down in Brussels

  • 14:41 (IST)

    No report of Indian casualty: MEA

    "We have spoken to our Ambassador. No reports of any Indian casualties," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Belgium on 30 March for the India-EU Summit. From Belgium, he is scheduled to travel to Washington for Nuclear Security Summit from 31 March. - PTI

  • 14:38 (IST)

    Live stream from the airport

    (Courtesy: Russia Today)

  • 14:34 (IST)

    Footage of the destruction at Brussels Airport

  • 14:29 (IST)

    EU staff told to remain indoors

  • 14:29 (IST)

    Death toll rises to 13

    Belgian broadcaster VRT said that 35 others have also been severely injured.

  • 14:23 (IST)

    'Airport bomb explosion was a suicide attack'

  • 14:21 (IST)

    Four metro stations under attack, says journalist

Multiple explosions took place on Tuesday at the Brussels airport in Belgium. The cause of the explosions is not yet known.

Airport spokeswoman Anke Fransen said, "There were two blasts in the departure hall. First aid team are in place for help."

Images on the website of public broadcaster RTBF showed smoke rising from the terminal building, where the windows had been shattered, reported AFP.

Multiple explosions hit Brussels airport in Belgium.

Multiple explosions hit Brussels airport in Belgium.

The broadcaster said the blasts hit shortly after 7.00 am (GMT) and that regional authorities had gone into emergency mode, with all flights in and out of the airport halted.

There was no immediate confirmation of the cause of the blasts or of any injuries, but RTBF cited a witness who said they had seen several wounded people.

Belgian news agency Belga said shots were fired and there were shouts in Arabic shortly before the explosions, reported Reuters.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon announced that Belgium's terror threat had been raised to its highest level.

Images also showed people fleeing from the terminal building.

Reports said that one of the explosions took place near the American Airlines check-in desk. Several people have been injured after the blasts, although the number of people injured is still unknown.

Train services to the Brussels airport have also been suspended and there is a complete lockdown at the airport.

The entire area has been cordoned off, all flights from the airport have been grounded and the airport is being evacuated.

Passengers were led onto the tarmac and the crisis centre urged people not to come to the airport.

Belgium closed metro, train, tram and bus services in Brussels following bomb blasts in the airport and metro, the authorities said.

"Bus, tram and metro shut down," the Brussels public transport operator STIB said in a message on Twitter. Major railway stations are also closed, the Brussels public prosecutor said separately.

Meanwhile, the Twitter handle of Brussels Airport tweeted out the following message: "There have been 2 explosions at the airport. Building is being evacuated. Don't come to the airport area. Airport is being evacuated. Avoid the airport area. Flights have been cancelled. All airport operations have been suspended until further notice. Follow the information on our website. Passengers that are still located in other area's in the airport are asked to remain calm and wait for further information."

A passenger of Indian origin told Times Now, "We were at the airport after the flight from Mumbai to Brussels landed at the airport. We heard huge explosions. We didn't realise what had happened. Everyone is in shock. So we don't know what is happening."

The explosions in Brussels are "an attack against democratic Europe," Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said.

"It is an attack against democratic Europe. We will never accept that terrorists attack our open societies," he told news agency TT in a statement, while his Danish counterpart Lars Lokke Rasmussen denounced the blasts on Twitter as a "despicable attack".

Europe's main stock markets retreated as the news broke, with London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropping 0.6 percent compared with Monday's close and Frankfurt's DAX 30 shedding 1.1 percent.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said that the "explosion at Brussels airport... has knocked sentiment".

The explosions happened only days after the prime suspect in the Paris attacks Salah Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels.

(With agency inputs)


Published Date: Mar 22, 2016 03:14 pm | Updated Date: Mar 22, 2016 05:48 pm

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