Police say that at least one person was killed when two explosions ripped through the departure hall at Zaventem airport in Brussels.
“One person has died and perhaps there are several more,” said a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the situation was developing.
While the cause of the explosions wasn’t immediately clear, Belgium’s interior minister said the country’s terror level would go the maximum level in wake of airport explosions.
The explosions hit at the middle of the busiest time at the airport, which serves the city that is the capital of the 28-nation European Union. NATO is also headquartered in the region.
Airport spokeswoman Anke Fransen said: “There were two blasts in the departure hall. First aid team are in place for help.”
The explosions occurred around 8 a.m. local time. Just over an hour later, smoke was reported at a metro station near EU headquarters, prompting the closure of all stations in the city.
Sky News television’s Alex Rossi, at the airport scene, said he heard two “very, very loud explosions.”
“I could feel the building move. There was also dust and smoke as well … I went towards where the explosion came from and there were people coming out looking very dazed and shocked.”
Belgian media said all flights were grounded and rail traffic to the airport was suspended.
Don’t come to the airport – airport is being evacuated. Avoid the airport area. Flights have been cancelled.
The developments come just four days after Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris which killed 130 people, was apprehended in Brussels. In addition, authorities announced Monday they were looking for Najim Laachraoui, a newly identified alleged accomplice of Abdeslam.
In the immediate aftermath of those attacks in France, Belgians endured several tense days of enhanced security involving transportation and school closings in Brussels.