Transport groups, police and authorities lead comms operation after Brussels explosions

The operator of Zaventem Airport in Brussels, which was hit by two explosions this morning, has been using social media to encourage people to stay away and giving details of a helpline, with police and other authorities' emergency comms strategy also activated.

Shock and panic: Zaventem Airport, Brussels this morning (Pic credit: Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP/Press Association Images)
Shock and panic: Zaventem Airport, Brussels this morning (Pic credit: Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP/Press Association Images)

Two explosions occurred at the airport this morning, with Belgian broadcaster VRT reporting that at least 13 people have been killed and 35 wounded.

The airport’s Twitter account sent the first tweet about the incident following the first blast soon after 7am GMT, urging people to stay away. This was followed up with further information, including contact details for people worried about friends or family.

There were later reports of another explosion at Maalbeek metro station, near Brussels’ main EU buildings. The city’s public transport system has been shut down, and this fact has been communicated via social media in French, Flemish and English, from the city’s transport operator:

Meanwhile, Eurostar is among other transport companies updating the public on the situation. The operator has publicised that it is not running trains to or from Brussels:

Following the blasts, the Belgian government has said it is raising the terror threat level from three to the maximum of four. Prime minister Charles Michel tweeted in French that his government is following the minute-by-minute situation, and the "absolute priority" goes to the victims.

The Beglian police federation has also been relaying information and advice, in different languages:

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has tweeted his sympathy for the victims and said he will hold a session with COBRA, the Government’s emergency committee.

A number of people have called for Facebook to switch on its Safety Check feature, which had previously been deployed after terror attacks in Paris in November, in order to help people in the area reassure friends and family.

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