Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True

Watch Live: Explosions At Brussels Airport And Metro, At Least 136 Wounded, 26 Dead

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 22 Mar 2016 07:39:54 Z)

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Two explosions ripped through the departures hall of Brussels airport this morning. According to first reports the blasts occured in the departures hall near the American Airlines checkin counter. There are reports of massive damage with at least 35 people wounded and 21 dead. An additional blast has been reported at the Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels, near the European Union buildings. At least one suicide bomber was reported to be involved in the airport attack.


: Continuing coverage of the aftermath here.



: 'Threat' reported near VUB university campus in Etterbeek (Brussels suburb). Soldiers urging everyone to stay or get inside.


: Maalbeek metro attack casualty figures: 11 dead, 55 wounded.

: Belgian social media users using #ikwilhelpen ("I want to help") hashtag to coordinate ride sharing, offers of shelter for people stranded by Brussels terror attacks.

: Bomb scare about suspicious package at gate of Saleh Abdeslam's prison, all clear given.

: Latest Brussels airport casualty figures: 11 dead, 81 wounded

: Kurdish news channel Rudaw says ISIS claimed responsability for the attacks.

: Two men with 'suspicious bag' arrested near Brussels North train station:

: Twitter report: two people arrested near south station in Brussels:


: Brussels public transit official: 15 dead in attack on Maalbeek metro

: Taxi's in Brussels reportedly offering free rides because public transit is shut down.

: Confirmation: blast was controlled detonation by explosives disposal unit.

: New blast heard near Wetstraat street in Brussels. Could be controlled detonation of suspect package.

: New blast heard:

: Facebook has activated 'Safety Check' feature in Brussels region. Let your friends know you are OK.

: Border between France and Belgium reportedly being closed.

: Reports on Twitter of a suspect package on a train in Reims, France. Station evacuated.



: Fire brigade now reporting 21 dead.

: Telco company Telenet is opening access to all its wifi hotspots in Brussels.

: Antwerp central station also on lockdown, according to Belgian state media. All stations in Brussels closed too.

: Main Belgian phone company asks people to text instead of calling:


: Authorities ask people not to use mobile phones for calling friends and relatives, use social media instead.


: All of Brussels is on lockdown, main Wetstraat street evacuated.


: Public transport + main tunnels on inner ring road shut down in Brussels.

: Brussels public transport company confirms *one* attack on Maalbeel metro station:




: Report on Twitter: police appear to chase man on Wetstraat street.

: Belgian state TV: suspicious suitcases at 'Arts-Loi' metro station


: Wetstraat in Brussels where Maalbeek station is located is main avenue linking important political buildings: EU parliament, party headquarters, Belgian parliament building, residence of Prime Minister...

: Confirmation from Belgian state media: at least one suicide attacker at Brussels airport

: Fire department reports: explosions in four(!) metro stations:

: Wounded of Maalbeel metro attack are being taken in at political party CD&V headquarters building nearby.

: Main departure hall in Brussels airport is public, crowded part of the building. People line up to use checkin counters. Crowds haven't been through security check yet there.





: Maalbeek and Schuman metro stations are main stations servicing European Union offices and buildings.

: Reports on Belgian state TV: Schuman metro station, smoke reported

: Maalbeek metro station and CD&V party headquarters (christian democrat party) being evacuated.

: Explosion reported in Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels...


: Pic of metro being evacuated (unconfirmed):

: Report: "vibrations" under office building in Wetstraat (central Brussels), bloodied people evacuated from metro...

: Crisis centre opened:


: Bombs exploded at American Airlines and SN Brussels Airlines counters at Brussels airport, third bomb found that didn't explode.

: State media TV crews being asked to leave the security perimeter.

: Terror threat level elevated to '4' (highest level) in Belgium

: Heavily armed soldiers reported on location by reporter on Belgian state TV.


: Fire brigade reports more explosives were found.

: Witness reports about shooting and Arabic shouting come from Belga, Belgian press agency.

: Unconfirmed reports: first shots rang out, then something was yelled in Arabic before explosions.


: Scenes of devastation inside the departures hall:

: People running for their lives:

: Cellphone networks around the airport are completely overloaded

: Witness films evacuation:




About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk