An alleged suicide bomber struck at the Brussels airport, where shots were fired and words in Arabic were shouted before two blasts were heard near the American Airlines check-in desk, Belgian news agency Belga reports.
An hour later an explosion was heard at the Belgian capital’s Maelbeek metro station in a separate terror attack.
Updated reports now say that an ‘unexploded bomb belt’ has been found at the airport where two explosions took place at around 8am local time (7am GMT). One suitcase bomb has also reportedly been found by officials.
Belgian broadcaster VTM says almost five hours after the explosion, the danger is not over at Zaventem airport.
It has also emerged that the blasts in the attacks were nail bombs. Marc Decramer, a spokesman for the University Hospital Gasthuisberg in Leuven, spoke to the media about the worrying revelation.
He said: “The bomb contained nails to create more victims. Some victims have nails in their bodies.”
Belgian broadcaster VRT says 20 people have been killed in the blast at the airport, and 14 have been killed at Maelbeek Metro station. Nearly 200 people have been injured.
As the city went into lockdown, the Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, condemned the attacks as ‘cowardly’, and described it as a ‘black day’ for the nation. And, according to Sky News, the Belgian prime minister has warned of more attacks.
The Belgian Prime Minister said:
What we feared has happened, we were hit by blind attacks.
This is a dark moment for our nation. We need calm and solidarity.
Belgium’s Foreign Minister Didier Reynders has said authorities fear that suspects involved in the deadly attacks could still be at large. And Belga news agency says police are still not sure that all terrorists either died in the suicide blasts or left the building.
Officials are currently scouring CCTV for images of suspicious people.