Social media users from around the world have flocked to support the people of Brussels after explosions rocked the city’s airport and subway system Tuesday, prompting a lockdown of the Belgian capital and heightened security across Europe. At least 28 people have been reported dead.
LIVE COVERAGE: Brussels on lockdown after explosions rock airport, subway
In the hours following the attacks, Twitter users began paying tribute to those affected by sharing messages of support and artwork showing solidarity.
Many users began using hashtags such as #JeSuisBelge and #JeSuisBruxelles in solidarity with their Belgian neighbours. The hashtags #JeSuisCharlie and #JeSuisParis were used to pay tribute to those lost in the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.
A spokesman for the Brussels Metro said 15 people were killed and 55 injured in an explosion on a train. Meanwhile, Belgian media reported at least 13 dead in two explosions at the airport, with many others injured.
Belgium raised its terror alert to the highest level, diverting planes and trains and ordering people to stay where they were. Airports across Europe immediately tightened security.
On Twitter, Belgians started using the hashtag
#ikwilhelpen – which translates to “I want to help” – to offer people places to stay, coordinate rides around the city and offer support to foreigners stranded in the capital.
Some users even appeared to be travelling into Brussels in order to help get people to safety.
Soon after the attacks, Paris announced it would light the Eiffel Tower in the colours of the Belgian flag Tuesday night in a show of solidarity. Brussels showed similar support for Paris back in November 2015, following the terror attacks in Paris.
In Canada, Montreal showed support by raising the Belgian flag at half staff in front of City Hall.
“In solidarity with the Belgian people, the flags at Montreal City Hall will fly at half staff. As well, the flag of Belguim will also be flown,” said Montreal mayor Denis Coderre.
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