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MEPs Speak Of Chaos In Brussels Attack

Two MEPs have spoken of the chaos in Brussels after explosions struck the city’s airport and metro system, with reports of at least 13 dead.

Two blasts tore through the departures area of Zaventem airport shortly after 08:00 local time (07:00 GMT).An hour later, an explosion hit Maalbeek metro station, close to the EU institutions.

Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy and Ulster Unionist Jim Nicholson were in the European parliament during the blasts.Mr Carthy said a Sinn Féin delegation was flying to the city for an event relating to the 1916 Easter Rising at the time. Their plane was diverted.”There’s still a lot of confusion,” he said.”Our first concern was to make sure our own staff were safe.”Most of them had made it to the parliament by the time the news filtered through.”We had 120 visitors arriving from all over Ireland, including 88 who were in a flight above Brussels when the first explosions went off.”They’ve been diverted to Amsterdam and as far as we’re aware everybody is safe.”

The Republic of Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Enda Kenny, tweeted: “Once again Europe is under attack.”We stand with Belgium. Those using death and violence must and will be defeated.
All flights at Zaventem airport are cancelled.

Dublin Airport said passengers intending to travel to the city on Tuesday should contact their airline for latest flight information.Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson was also in the European Parliament at the time of the attacks.

He said the blasts were designed for maximum destruction.”The time these went off was when everyone was heading to work,” he said.”Everywhere in the centre of town is being evacuated, we just don’t know where they’re going to hit next.”

Mr Nicholson passed the Maelbeek metro station shortly before the explosion occurred.”Parliament is more or less closed down at the moment.”I can’t put [into] words what has happened.”He said he noticed heightened security when he was travelling in to the city from the airport on Monday night.”A lot more police were on the route, parked in strategic areas.”But as we know in Northern Ireland, the terrorists only have to be successful the once to claim success.”