Mar 23, 2016: The terror attacks that hit Brussels will keep one of Europe’s busiest airports closed for at least another day and heighten security at transportation sites around the world. The deadly blasts that killed and wounded dozens of people put the Belgian capital under virtual lock down.Brussels airport has announced that it will remain closed to passenger flights for at least another day, right up to the start of the busy Easter weekend. Airport officials said they would have to cancel some 600 flights each on Wednesday and Thursday. It means that since the attack on the airport Tuesday morning, the flights of some 180,000 passengers will be disrupted. Brussels airport was hoping to resume cargo flights earlier but there was no immediate word on when. “On behalf of the entire airport community, I would like to extend our warmest condolences to the family and friends of the victims of these cowardly and heinous acts. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the emergency and rescue services, passengers and staff for their compassion, solidarity and help. This is without doubt the blackest day in the history of Brussels Airport,” said Arnaud Feist, CEO, Brussels Airport. The airport site has been entirely evacuated to give the public prosecutor and the police enough room to meticulously carry out their investigation into the explosions at the airport. Brussels Airport is fully collaborating with the judicial and police services. Forensic investigation by the public prosecutor and the police in the terminal is still underway. Until the investigation is complete, nobody is allowed to enter the departures hall, including the airport staff. Brussels Airport has been hit in its heart, in the departures hall where many passengers were waiting to leave on holiday. At Brussels Airport tens of people died in the attacks or were severely injured. Immediately following the explosions, the Red Cross and other emergency services arrived at Brussels Airport to take care of the victims. By now, all of the victims have been evacuated from the airport. The Red Cross remains present at various locations on and in the vicinity of Brussels Airport to assist victims, witnesses, relatives and friends. The explosions severely damaged the departures hall at Brussels Airport. “At this moment it is impossible for us to say when operations will be resumed. There is much damage and we do not have access to the building as the investigation is still underway. As soon as more information is available, we will inform the public on this website or through the social media channels of Brussels Airport,” said a statement from the airport.
Photo: People holding a banner reading “I am Brussels” behind flowers and candles to mourn for the victims at Place de la Bourse in the center of Brussels, Tuesday, March 22, 2016. (Martin Meissner/Associated Press)