At Least 23 Dead and 35 Injured in Brussels Airport and Subway Attacks

T wo explosions have occurred in the departures area of the main terminal at Zaventem Airport — which serves the greater Brussels metropolitan area — shortly after 8:00 in the morning local time on Tuesday, March 22, 2016; and the Maalbeek subway station of the Brussels Metro was affected an explosion approximately one hour later, according to multiple media sources.

At Least 23 Dead and 35 Injured in Brussels Airport and Subway Attacks

A minimum of 23 people have been killed as a result of the explosions — the causes of which are currently unknown; although one report cites an explosion at the airport as the result of a suicide attack — and at least 35 other people have been severely injured. Both the entire subway system and the airport have been closed until further notice.

The attacks come four days after Salah Abdeslam — who is the main suspect in the attacks which occurred in Paris last November — was captured in Brussels; but no connection between the incidents has been established.

Frequent Fliers Affected

“Everyone in my family just started their day as any normal Tuesday but I am getting really scared now. My children are at school, my husband is/was driving to Brussels and I am alone in my home office”, posted FlyerTalk member Epicura. “ULB (French university in Brussels) is cleared, Brussels Central Station is closed, several offices near the European Institutions are cleared/evacuated, entire metro in Brussels is closed now…All European Institutions are being cleared as we speak. Sounds like a very logical action IMHO.”

FlyerTalk members are also discussing this tragic event in this discussion in the Travel News forum and this discussion in the British Airways | Executive Club forum.

Official Statements From Airlines

The following is an official statement from Brussels Airlines:

March 22nd, 10:25 — Due to two explosions at Brussels Airport this morning, March 22nd, the airport is closed until further notice. As a consequence all flights to and from Brussels Airport are cancelled today. 

Passengers holding a ticket for a Lufthansa Group flight (Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Germanwings) between today and 28 March to/from/via Brussels can rebook or refund their ticket for free. 

Passengers who booked their ticket via a travel agency are kindly asked to contact the agency for their rebooking or refund. 

Passengers who booked via brusselsairlines.com can:

– Ask for a refund of their ticket via https://www.brusselsairlines.com/en-be/contact-us/cancel-refund/default.aspx

– Rebook their ticket for a new date of travel before 30 June 2016 via our Service Center at +32 2 723 23 62

The following is a statement from a spokesperson at American Airlines:

“We are aware of an incident at the Brussels airport departure hall and are taking care of our customers, employees and contractors. At this time, all of our employees and contractors are accounted for with no reported injuries. American Airlines flight 751 has been canceled for today. When operations at the airport resume, we will reaccommodate our customers.”

Summary

If your plans over the next day or two include Brussels — regardless of the mode of transportation you plan on using — avoid Brussels and change your plans.

In the meantime, my thoughts are with the victims of this incident — as well as with their families, friends and colleagues…

Imagery ©2016 TerraMetrics. Map data ©2016 courtesy of Google Maps. Additional graphics added by Brian Cohen.

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