Belgian troops patrolling Brussels Central Station “neutralized” a person after a small explosion on Tuesday, a police spokesperson said, adding that there were no other casualties and the situation was under control.
He could not confirm media reports that the person had been wearing an explosive vest, and it was not clear whether the person shot was still alive. Prime Minister Charles Michel urged people via Twitter to follow instructions from the authorities.
The train station, Belgium’s busiest, and the adjacent historic downtown area, including the baroque Grand Place city square, were packed with tourists and locals on a hot summer evening. They were evacuated from the area as police set up a security cordon, witnesses told Belgian media.
The tweet begins, “Two loud blasts in Brussels Station.”
Twee luide ontploffingen in Brussel Cebtraal. Voor mijn neus. Dan snelle knallen na elkaar. pic.twitter.com/FDqVAjgGYg
The city has been on high alert for more than 18 months since Brussels-based ISIS militants carried out attacks in Paris that killed 130 people there in November 2015 and later bombed Brussels airport and the city’s Metro in March last year. Those bombings killed 32 people.
The police spokesperson said: “There was an incident at Central Station. There was an explosion around a person. That person was neutralized by the soldiers that were on the scene.
“At the moment, the police are in numbers at the station and everything is under control.”
Prime Minister Michel and the interior minister were in the national crisis centre monitoring developments.