DW correspondent Bernd Riegert reports on deadly explosions in Brussels | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 22.03.2016
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


DW correspondent Bernd Riegert reports on deadly explosions in Brussels

Brussels has been shaken to its core after fatal explosions rocked the city's airport and two of its metro stations. Bernd Riegert is one of DW's correspondents in Brussels.

A picture shows Brussels metro travelers exiting the subway as plumes of smoke rise following an explosion

Smoke rises from Brussels' Maalbeek subway station following an explosion

Belgians are in shock. Four hours after the first explosions at Brussels Airport, Prime Minister Charles Michel confirmed that the nation had been hit by a series of terror attacks. The country, which had just celebrated the arrest of Salah Abdeslam - the most wanted "Islamic State" terrorist in Europe - is now mired in fear.

Investigators and pundits have publicly wondered whether Tuesday's attacks on the city's transportation hubs had come in response to Abdeslam's capture or had previously been set up by a terror cell with connections to him. However, Michel said no evidence of any connection had emerged.

Authorities have warned that further attacks could follow. Belgium's National Security Council has raised the terror threat to its highest level. Air traffic to Brussels Airport - one of Europe's busiest - and trains have been halted. All roads to the airport have been closed, more evacuations are taking place, and Michel urged all Belgians to stay at home. Security forces are guarding Belgium's nuclear facilities. Officials are conducting searches of homes but not giving any details.

Riegert Bernd Kommentarbild App

DWs Bernd Riegert

Death toll rising

As the initial explosive devices were detonated in the departures hall of the Brussels Airport, shattering a portion of the glass facade, smoke rose from the building as travelers and employees fled.

The attack at the airport has killed 14 people so far and wounded 81 more. Police quickly evacuated Brussels Airport and flights were rerouted to land elsewhere. Authorities have set up a hotline for people whose loved ones are missing following the attack.

Passengers awaiting takeoff were ushered off the planes, while many shocked travelers gathered in the parking lots surrounding the airport.

Two additional explosive devices were found during a police sweep of the complex.

Attack on the subway

At 9:11 a.m. (0811 UTC), another explosive was detonated at the Maelbeek metro station in the city's EU quarter. At least 20 people have been killed and more than 40 injured. The numbers continue to grow.

The blast was felt in the surrounding EU buildings and at DW's Brussels bureau. Police cleared the streets of people and made those trapped in the buildings stay inside until the threat appeared to have cleared.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the situation. EU flags outside the building have been lowered to half-mast.