Citywide Lockdown Following Brussels Attack Sees City’s Museums Closed
The Eiffel Tower will light up with the Belgian colors tonight.
The city of Brussels is on lockdown after a suicide attack at the city’s Zaventem Bruxelles International Airport and a blast on a train this morning left at least 34 dead and up to 136 injured.
This morning, two bombs were detonated in Zaventem airport and a third exploded at Maelbeek metro station in the city, the station local to the headquarters of the European Commission.
“What we feared has happened,” said Belgian prime minister Charles Michel in a press conference, the Guardian reports. “Here are many dead, many injured […] We realize we face a tragic moment. We have to be calm and show solidarity.”
Reports have confirmed that shots were fired in the departure hall at Zaventem airport before two suicide bombs were detonated, one in the departures hall and another on a runway. Questions are already being raised about how anyone managed to get a device past airport security.
Following the blasts at the airport there was an explosion at Maelbeek metro station, which took place at around 8 a.m., the height of the rush hour.
Belgian journalist Véronique Lamquin has tweeted this morning at 9:44 that museums will remain closed today. The city is now shut down, with public institutions, public transport, and shops closed, and flags at the European Commission now at half staff as the Belgian authorities attempt to ascertain if there is any remaining threat.
There is speculation that the bombings are retaliation to the arrest of the Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam, who was captured four days ago in a gunfight in the Belgian capital on Friday.
There have also been reports that Paris will light up the Eiffel Tower in the colors of the Belgian flag tonight in solidarity with the Belgian people.
The attacks take place one month ahead of art events in the cosmopolitan city with Art Brussels due to open on April 22 and Independent Brussels due to open its doors on April 20.
Messages of solidarity have been pouring in on social media, and spontaneous slogans of hope have been drawn on the city’s pavements.
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