Around 35 people were killed and over 200 injured today in a series of explosions that ripped through Brussels airport and a metro train, the latest attacks claimed by ISIS militant group to rock Europe.
Security was tightened across the jittery continent and transport links paralysed after the bombings that Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel branded “blind, violent and cowardly”.
Two Jet Airways crew injured
Two Jet Airways employees, part of the cabin crew, have been injured in the twin bomb blasts at the Brussels airport.
The two, identified as Nidhi Chaphekar and Amit Motwani by Jet officials, are residents of Mumbai and are believed to have been at the airport to report for work when the blasts occurred, The Hindu has reported.
Narrow escape for Jet Airways flights
Two Jet Airways flights, one from Delhi and the other from Mumbai, had landed just a little before the twin bomb blasts at the Brussels airport, data with aviation website Flightradar24 showed.
According to the data with the website, Jet Airways flight 9W 228 from Mumbai landed at Brussels at 7.11 a.m. local time while the one from Delhi 9W 230 landed at 8.08 am.
At the time of the blasts, four of Jet’s Airbus A300 aircrafts were at the Brussels airport. But all passengers and crew on board were reported safe.
The Delhi flight would have reached Brussels just minutes after the bomb blast at the airport at 8.00 am.
Passengers remained stranded for several hours inside the aircraft as the airport was closed as a precautionary measure and due to the confusion prevailing there.
The blasts occurred just five days before Jet Airways is to pull out of Brussels. From March 27, airline will relocate its European operations to Amsterdam.
Series of attacks
Two blasts shattered the main hall of Zaventem Airport at around 8:00am (1330 IST), with prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw saying there was probably at least one suicide bomber.
A third hit a train at Maalbeek metro station in the heart of the city’s EU quarter, just as commuters were making their way to work in rush hour.
Pierre Meys, spokesman for the Brussels fire brigade, told AFP at least 14 people had been killed at the airport, while Brussels mayor Yvan Mayeur said “around 20” died in the underground blast. More than 200 people have been wounded, several critically.
The bombings triggered a transport shutdown, with flights halted and metro, tram and bus services all suspended.
Airports across Europe swiftly announced they were boosting security, including in London, Paris, and Frankfurt.
Across the Atlantic, New York and Washington ordered extra counter-terror officers to crowded areas and train stations.
– NRICafe.com (with inputs from Agencies)