Exactly three years ago, two suicide bombers, carrying explosives in large suitcases, attacked a departure hall at Brussels Airport in Zaventem. The first explosion occurred at 07:58 in check-in row 11; the second explosion occurred about nine seconds later in check-in row 4-5. The suicide bombers were visible in CCTV footage. Another bomb exploded at Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels.
A third suicide bomber was prevented from detonating his own bomb by the force of a previous explosion. The third bomb was found in a search of the airport and was later destroyed by a controlled explosion. Belgium’s federal prosecutor confirmed that the suicide bombers had detonated nail bombs.
Thirty-two civilians and three perpetrators were killed, and more than 300 people were injured. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks. The perpetrators belonged to a terrorist cell which had been involved in the November 2015 Paris attacks. The Brussels bombings happened shortly after a series of police raids targeting the group. The bombings were the deadliest act of terrorism in Belgium’s history. The Belgian government declared three days of national mourning.
This morning at 7.58 am, the moment of the first explosion, Brussels Airport observed 1 minute of silence throughout the airport in remembrance of the victims of the 22 March 2016 attacks.
— Brussels Airport (@BrusselsAirport) March 22, 2019