Brussels attack: Witnesses describe bloody, chaotic scenes after airport, subway explosions
At least 31 people were killed Tuesday and more than 130 injured when a series of bombs exploded in Brussels at the international airport and a downtown subway station.
Eyewitnesses described a chaotic scene of debris and blood as the blasts left people scrambling during a busy morning rush hour commute.
WATCH: Brussels airport blast sends passengers ‘suddenly rushing’
Jeffrey Edison, who was born in the United States and has lived in Belgium for almost 30 years, spoke to Global News’ The Morning Show from Brussels Tuesday and described a panicked scene at the Zaventem airport when the explosions happened.
“I had gone through the security checkpoint and almost at exactly 8:00 a.m. people went suddenly rushing past me coming from the security checkpoint towards the departure gates,” he said. “We had no news, we didn’t know what was going on, we didn’t know why these people were running.”
Edison said passengers were evacuated onto the tarmac after about 30 minutes before being directed back to the main building.
“When we were eventually reaching very near the main building of the airport we could actually see damage to the main airport building and of course all the military, fire, ambulances, and police coming in and out of the airport,” he said.
WATCH: Spokesperson for Brussels’ firefighters says attacks are the worst thing he’s seen in his 40 year career
Georgian journalist Ketevan Kardava was lining up for a flight to Geneva just after 8 a.m. when she saw something black and suitcase-shaped exploded in front of an airline counter nearby, she told the Associated Press.
LIVE COVERAGE: Brussels on lockdown after explosions rock airport, subway
She said the glass walls shattered and smoke filled the air.
“Everything was broken,” she said. “We were crying, shouting, running we didn’t know where.”
WATCH: Journalist travelling on Brussels metro shares his personal story of the attacks
Evan Lamos, a journalist with European news agency Euractiv, said he was on his way to work on a subway train between the Arts-Lois and Maalbeek stations when he felt a “small blast of air.”
“We heard some thudding in the distance,” he told the AP. “The metro immediately stopped. The lights turned off, the engine turned off and a message came over the intercom saying that there had been a disturbance on the line.
“People were obviously nervous,” he said. “A lot of people like myself had been reading about the explosion at Brussels airport.”
Lamos posted video to Twitter that showed a stream of subway passengers stepping out of a stopped train car into the dimly-lit tunnel below. He said there was smoke in the air as passengers left the train.
Jordy van Overmeir had just collected his luggage after landing at Brussels airport when he heard a loud explosion.
“At this point I saw all these policemen running around, shouting and saying ‘there was an explosion,” he told Sky News.
Outside the baggage claim area he could “smell smoke and see glass and I saw blood.”
“Then I came outside of the airport on the parking lot and there I saw people with head wounds, people crying, more blood on the road and glass everywhere,” he said. “There was a lot of panic, with people running around. Policemen, military everywhere. There were ambulances going around. People seemed really shocked … Everyone seems very shocked and very sad.”
Below are more images posted to social media following the attacks in Belgium’s capital.
*With files from the Associated Press
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