, BRUSSELS, Belgium, Mar 22 – A string of explosions rocked Brussels airport and a city metro station on Tuesday, killing at least 13 people, according to media reports, as Belgium raised its terror threat to the maximum level.
Two explosions targeted the main hall of Zaventem Airport at around 8am (0700 GMT), with a third hitting the Maalbeek metro station, near the European Union’s main buildings, just as commuters were making their way to work in rush hour.
Belgian media reports said at least 13 people had been killed and 35 injured at the airport, while an AFP reporter said at least 15 people with bloodied faces were being treated by emergency services outside the metro station.
The blasts come days after the dramatic arrest in Brussels on Friday of Salah Abdeslam, the prime suspect in the Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people in November, after four months on the run.
There were chaotic scenes at the airport as passengers fled in panic, with a thick plume of smoke rising from the main terminal building.
The blasts smashed the windows of the departure hall and sent ceiling tiles shattering to the floor.
Witnesses told Belga news agency there had been shots and shouts in Arabic at the airport before the blasts hit at the airport on the northwest outskirts of Brussels.