Borders are closed across the European nation as terrorist attacks targets travelers.
The Belgian city of Brussels is in a state of emergency after two coordinated terrorist attacks killed 34 people while sending over 100 to hospitals. The two attacks took place between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. local time.
CNN reports the first attacks took place at Brussels Airport (BRU). According to the Associated Press, one explosion is believed to be the result of a suitcase bomb, while the other was the work of a suicide attacker. Eyewitnesses claimed to CNN one explosion happened outside the security checkpoint while another took place near ticketing counters. At least 14 people were killed as a result of the attack.
As a result, BRU immediately shut down all operations, while borders into the country were closed. According to data provided by FlightAware.com, 185 inbound flights into BRU are canceled, reflecting 77 percent of air traffic. Additionally, 211 flights scheduled to leave the country were grounded as well. Brussels Airlines was the most affected by the closure, canceling 96 percent of their schedule.
All three American legacy carriers have issued statements expressing their condolences for the incident while confirming the safety of their crews and flights bound for Brussels. American Airlines did not have any flights traveling to Brussels today, but their flight from BRU to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has been canceled. One Delta Air Lines flight from the United States to Brussels landed successfully, with all 151 passengers safe and accounted for. The second Delta flight bound for BRU was diverted to Amsterdam. One United Airlines flight from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) landed at BRU, while a second inbound flight was diverted “to a remote location” where passengers and crew deplaned. All three carriers have issued waivers allowing affected travelers to change their itineraries.
In addition, the attacks have increased security responses at airports and other terminals around the world. London Gatwick Airport (LGW) confirmed on Twitter there will be an increased police presence following the incidents. Fox News reports police in both New York and Los Angeles are aware of the situation and will increase patrols. Port Authority Police in New York and New Jersey are increasing their presence at all three of New York’s airports, and Los Angeles World Airport Police confirmed they would be meeting with command staff and “make constant adjustments to [their] deployment strategy.”
While the United States Embassy in Brussels has confirmed the reports of attacks, it is unknown if any Americans are among the killed or wounded. Multiple media outlets, including The Independent, have confirmed ISIS has taken responsibility for today’s attacks.