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Attacks on Brussels airport and metro system

22 March 2016  •  Author: International Airport Review

At least 30 people have been killed and dozens injured in attacks at Brussels Airport and a metro station this morning.

According to Reuters, a witness who was at the airport said he heard shouts in Arabic and shots shortly before two blasts struck the departure lounge at Brussels airport. Alphonse Youla told Reuters he heard a man shouting out in Arabic before the first explosion and “then the glass ceiling of the airport collapsed”.

Immediately following the explosions, the Red Cross and other emergency services arrived at Brussels Airport to take care of the victims. All of the victims of the airport attacks are now thought to have been evacuated from the site.

Brussels Airport has issued a statement expressing its deepest sympathy with victims and their relatives. In the statement, Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist, said: “On behalf of the entire airport community, I would like to extend our warmest condolences to the family and friends of the victims of these cowardly and heinous acts. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the emergency and rescue services, passengers and staff for their compassion, solidarity and help. This is without doubt the blackest day in the history of Brussels Airport.”

All flights and other operations at Brussels Airport have been cancelled until at least 0500 GMT Wednesday morning. Brussels Airport has said it is fully collaborating with the judicial and police services – the airport site has been entirely evacuated to give the public prosecutor and the police enough room to carry out their investigation into the explosions.

The explosions are said to have severely damaged the departures hall at the airport. Brussels Airport has said it is impossible to judge when operations will be resumed, saying that there is ‘much damage’. As soon as more information is available, Brussels Airport has said it will inform the public on its website or through its social media channels.

The VRT public broadcaster said that 14 people were killed at the airport and 20 in the metro.The blast in the metro hit a train as it left Maelbeek station, close to European Union institutions. All the city’s metro stations are closed as Belgium has increased its terror threat to its highest level following the apparent coordinated attacks.

The attacks have also triggered security alerts across Europe, bringing some cross-border traffic to a halt. Public transport services are resuming in Brussels after being suspended earlier in the day following the attack at the Maalbeek metro station where twenty people died. Brussels rail stations reopened at 1500 GMT, according to VRT. Train services on the cross-channel tunnel from London to Brussels have been suspended.

2 responses to “Attacks on Brussels airport and metro system”

  1. There is no way to stop the terrorist attacks in Belgium, or any where else, until we start treating the terrorists like they treat us. I know that many will say “We are not animals; we would never do that” which is exactly what the terrorists want to hear.

    My heart breaks for those who have died, and for those who have been seriously injured, but we all know it will happen again and again until we start acting like them. We must be ruthless in our response.

    Airports are open targets: easy access to all. We must change the way we think, and design airports, as well as other mass transportation systems, accordingly. In Japan, passengers have to take a bus to the airport, and at some point in their journey inspectors board the bus and ask for tickets and identification.

    Airport design concepts must be changed, starting with the terminals and extending as far as airport lighting. This has not changed in 50 years; illumination is downward only. This should be made omnidirectional in order to reveal not only who is there, but who is coming next.

    Finally, while it is easy to talk now about what we should have done to save the victims of this latest attack, what we should also be doing is to change airports and other mass transportation systems into virtually impregnable hard targets that will thwart terrorist efforts to maim and kill. Security must start at airport and mass transportation system perimeters or even beyond, not inside passenger terminals. Maybe next time, London or San Francisco will be targeted, and right now, they are not prepared.

    R. Brenner
    Director
    orca2543

  2. Jamal N. Adi says:

    We should have new airport infrastructure, i do agree that we should treat touririst as they treat us otherwise they will finish us. An eye for the eye

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