Brussels′ Maelbeek metro station reopens one month after bombings | News | DW | 25.04.2016
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Brussels' Maelbeek metro station reopens one month after bombings

Train services have resumed at the Brussels metro station where 16 people were killed in a suicide bombing on March 22. Authorities have set up a wall of remembrance for commuters to leave messages of hope.

Maelbeek subway station reopened on Monday morning, just over a month after Khalid El-Bakraoui detonated a bomb during morning rush hour as part of coordinated attacks on the Belgian capital.

One hour earlier, twin bombings had been carried out at Brussels Airport. A total of 32 people were killed and hundreds more injured in the attacks later claimed by militant group "Islamic State."

Although trains stopping at Maelbeek were running on a reduced schedule and the number of station entrances and exits were limited, Monday morning marked the first time the entire Brussels metro was operating since the attacks.

While no structural work was needed to get Maelbeek services running again, repairs had to be carried out on the station's tiling and masonry. For example, one of the eight tiled portraits by artist Benoit van Innis was damaged and had to be covered up. Transit authorities said the artist was now working on a project to commemorate the bombing victims, which is due to be completed in June.

"In the meantime, we plan to set aside a remembrance wall where people can leave messages, words of hope," public transport service spokeswoman Francoise Ledune told news agency AFP.

Watch video 01:04

Maelbeek metro station reopens

Last week, members of a commission investigating the attacks visited the two bomb sites - Maelbeek and Brussels Airport. By the end of the year, they are expected to deliver a report recommending security improvements to prevent future attacks.

Brussels' Zaventem airport is due to resume full operations in June. The bombings there were carried out by Khalid's brother, Ibrahim El Bakraoui, and Najim Laachraoui. Police believe Laachraoui was a bomb maker involved in the November 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more.

nm/kms (AP, AFP)

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