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Brussels "still in shock" one week after suicide bomb attacks

brussels bureau

Brussels "still in shock" one week after suicide bomb attacks


Authorities at Brussels Zavatem airport say it could take months before the airport reopens at full capacity.

On Tuesday, staff were carrying out tests to see if the airport was ready for a small-scale reopening on Wednesday.

“At the moment with everything we have in place right now we think we can take around 800 passengers an hour. That’s about 20-25% of normal capacity at the airport,” said airport spokesperson Florence Muls. “Fortunately the structure of the airport hasn’t been affected. But we know that the air conditioning doesn’t work, the check-in scanning and all the counters have been destroyed as well as glass windows. We already know that we have a huge amount of work ahead of us.”

Temporary check-in desks have been set up and there will be extra security and baggage screening before passengers get to the departure lounge.

A week after the suicide bomb blasts at the airport and on the metro which left 35 people dead and hundreds injured, Maalbeek station remains closed.

Commuters returning to work after the Easter break were still struggling to come to terms with events.

“I’m still in shock, because even though we thought about it, we never really believed it would happen – now its real life and its very close to us,” said one man.

Another woman said: “It’s the first day that we’ve come back to work, so there is fear, and insecurity. I think for Belgians, as well as being strongly effected by the events, we feel very let down by what’s happening at a political level”

Police have resumed a manhunt for the third airport attacker after releasing a suspect on Monday.

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