Brussels train station evacuated after small explosion, suspect neutralised


Brussels, June 21, 2017: The Brussels Central Station was evacuated after a small explosion occurred within the station and the suspect shot by soldiers is dead, local authorities said.

A “small explosion” took place shortly before 8.30 p.m. (local time) on Tuesday at Brussels Central and soldiers on regular duty at the station “neutralized” the suspect, the spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office Eric van der Sypt said, adding that no one else was hurt.

Authorities ordered an evacuation of the station and nearby Grand Place, the capital’s main square, Efe news reported.

The suspect lay motionless for some time after he was shot, but paramedics had to wait for the all-clear from the bomb squad before examining him, Brussels prosecutor’s office spokesperson Ine van Wymersch said.

The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office announced that the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack.

Citing police sources, RTBF public television reported that authorities were actively searching for two other suspects.

An employee of Belgian national railway SNCB said that the blast “was not very strong”.

“I was about 10 metres away when the explosion occurred. There were people who were closer, 2 or 3 metres. I went to alert my colleagues to evacuate the station,” Nicolas Vanewer said.

“There were no wounded or dead,” he said.

The suspect shouted “Allahu Akhbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) prior to the blast, another eyewitness told the VRTNiuews network.

Prime Minister Charles Michel and Interior Minister Jan Jambon are following the situation closely, government spokesman Frederic Cauderlier said.


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