Early this morning, three bombs exploded in Brussels, killing at least 28 people and injuring hundreds more. Here’s what it was like on the scene in photos, raw video and witness accounts.
The initial attack occurred around 8 a.m. at Brussels’ international airport, where two bombs went off near the airport’s check-in counters. Police currently believe one of the bombs was detonated by a suicide bomber, while the other was remotely detonated. A third bomb went off just after 9 a.m. inside a metro car as the train pulled into the Maelbeek metro station. Authorities say the blasts killed at least 34 people, injuring hundreds more.
Raw video from inside the airport and the train station shows the terrifying aftermath of the explosions:
“There was blood everywhere.”
Zach Mouzoun had landed at the airport on a flight from Geneva about ten minutes before the bombs went off. He tells BFM Television the second explosion ruptured the building’s pipes, creating a river of blood.
“It was atrocious. The ceilings collapsed,” he said. “There was blood everywhere, injured people, bags everywhere.”
“We were walking in the debris. It was a war scene,” he said.
“We heard a big explosion.”
“We heard a big explosion. It’s like when you’re in a party and suddenly your hearing goes out, from like a big noise,” Deloos said, adding that shredded paper floated through the air as a colleague told him to run.
“I jumped into a luggage chute to be safe,” he said.
“It felt like I was hit too.”
“I saw a soldier pulling away a body,” he said. “It felt like I was hit too” from the concussion of the blast.
“It was panic everywhere.”
“The Metro was leaving Maelbeek station for Schuman when there was a really loud explosion,” said Alexandre Brans, 32, wiping blood from his face. “It was panic everywhere. There were a lot of people in the Metro.”
“I would probably have been in that place when the bomb went off.”
“People were crying, shouting, children. It was a horrible experience,” said Noel, a Belgian who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. “I don’t want to think about it, but I would probably have been in that place when the bomb went off.”
“This feel likes war — fire engines, police everywhere,” said Noel, as he and hundreds of other passengers toting their hand luggage were evacuated to the town of Zavantem.
“I was as close as I could be to the other side,” he told the AP. “It hasn’t happened yet. I guess it’s not my hour.”
“Everything was broken.”
“Everything was broken,” she said. “We were crying, shouting, running we didn’t know where.”
“The second explosion was much more heavy.”
“I assumed it was training, but some litter was in the air, so I was not sure if it was a terrorist act,” he told the AP.
“Seconds later, a much more heavy, heavy detonation happened, some more distance (away) but much more heavy. This was the moment I realized this was a terrorist act.
“The first detonation, very few people got panic(ked). The others didn’t realize what happened, or they looked around. But the second explosion was much more heavy — panic, crying and everywhere this dirty dust, like from concrete.”
“Everything was coming down — glassware. It was chaos.”
“Everything was coming down — glassware. It was chaos, it was unbelievable. It was the worst thing,” Jef Versele, who was waiting to check in for a flight, said. “People were running away. There were lots of people on the ground. A lot of people are injured.”
Another witness, Jordy van Overmeir, was picking up his luggage from a flight from Bangkok when the bombs went off.
“All of a sudden I heard a loud explosion — this boom. Initially I thought it was the sound of a suitcase falling down,” he said, adding that he could immediately “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.”
“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.”
“I was on the metro train pulling into the station when there was a massive explosion.”
“I was on the metro that was attacked this morning in Brussels at Maalbaek station. I was on the metro train pulling into the station when there was a massive explosion. Lights went out, smoke everywhere, sounds of multiple explosions, everyone dropped to the floor,” an unnamed witness tells Politico. “Thankfully I managed to escape by prying the car door open with some other passengers and running for the exit. This was by far the most frightening thing that’s ever happened to me. We didn’t know if the noises were gunshots or bombs, but seemed to make sense to get out of there as fast as possible.”
“Everywhere there were bodies with no head.”
“Everywhere there were bodies with no head. There was a woman screaming while she was holding her baby and she screamed ‘Where is my baby?’ I told her she was holding her child but she said she had one other that she couldn’t find.”
Yassine said his friend went up on the third floor where, he said, the bomb exploded and screamed to him not to come up because there were dead people everywhere.
“There was blood flooding on the floors I tried to help out this is why I am covered up in blood,” Yassine said.
“It was complete panic.”
“I was taking a customer to the airport, he had to go fly to China. So we were queuing to get to the departure hall, and I’m waiting for a spot to park my car in. So I stop behind another car, and I said, ‘Go and get your trolley to get your luggage,’ and as he opened the door, I heard the first explosion behind me. And I said, ‘Get back in! Get back in!’ And as he got back in, the second explosion before me,” a cab driver tells Politico. “All the people came running out in panic out of the building. I even saw two guys, they came out and fell on their knees and started crying. It was complete panic. It was chaos, complete chaos.”
“The woman exploded and lost both legs.”
“I heard BAM and then a man screaming in Arabic, there was a couple withdrawing cash in front of me and the woman exploded and lost both legs her husband lost one leg and also a police officer lost a leg, windows of shops exploded blood everywhere I tried to help people get out” his hands were covered in blood.
“There was a man whose chest was completely open—he had no more legs.”
“I saw blood everywhere. There was a man whose chest was completely open — he had no more legs. Next to him a second man with no has was whose body was shaking, glass everywhere,” 28-year-old Kallouchi Mohammed said.
“There was blood, it was an apocalypse,” Samir Derrouich, the manager of a cafe near the explosion, said.