Europe has been rocked by an ‘appalling beyond belief’ terrorist attack as Brussels has been hit by a series of explosions at its airport and a Metro station.
At least thirteen people have died and 35 seriously injured in the attack as Brussels has raised its terror threat levels to the maximum and reportedly closed their borders with France.
Zac Goldsmith, Richmond Park MP, called the incident ‘appalling beyond belief’ on LBC’s London Mayoral Debate this morning.
His Labour counterpart Sadiq Khan said: “Shocking and sickening scenes in Brussels today. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected.”
Wimbledon-born Davina McCall led the outpouring of shock and grief on Twitter as she said she hoped one day we might all live in peace for the sake of our children.
Thinking of the people of Brussels . Hope one day we might all live in peace. For the sake of our children…
— Davina McCall (@ThisisDavina) March 22, 2016
The Maalbeek Metro station that was also targeted is close to the EU building, reports are currently unconfirmed that 10 people were killed in the Metro attack.
The airport has been evacuated, all incoming flights diverted and the Metro system shut down as authorities respond to the crisis.
Shocked and saddened by events in Brussels – the thoughts of Londoners are with the victims this morning
— Mayor of London (gov.uk/coronavirus) (@MayorofLondon) March 22, 2016
There has been an outpouring of sympathy from Londoners over this latest horrific incident, Mayor Boris Johnson spoke for the city when he tweeted that our thoughts are with all the victims.
Thoughts with the people of Brussels this morning after the shocking attacks in their city
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedMP) March 22, 2016
Labour MP for Croydon North Steve Reed also expressed his shock at the attack and Lib Dem MP for Charshalton and Wallington Tom Brake expressed his condolences and solidarity to those in Brussels caught up in the attacks.
I would like to express my condolences to those in Brussels caught up in the attacks. We stand in solidarity with you against terrorism.
— Tom Brake (@thomasbrake) March 22, 2016
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the national lead for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “Our thoughts are with the people of Brussels following this morning’s horrific attacks.
“As a precaution forces across the UK have increased policing presence at key locations, including transport hubs, to protect the public and provide reassurance. This is not in relation to any specific information or intelligence.
“In London specifically, the Metropolitan Police Service has mobilised additional officers, who will carry out highly visible patrols at key locations around the Capital including the transport network.The number of officers deployed will be regularly assessed.These additional officers are deployed as part of reassurance measures.
“The police presence across London and the rest of the UK is constantly under review
“We are in close liaison with the Belgium authorities and will continue to monitor the situation.
“The threat to the UK from international terrorism remains at severe as it has been since August 2014, meaning an attack is highly likely.
“We urge the public and businesses to be alert but not alarmed and report anything suspicious to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. In an emergency always call 999.”
London airports have increased their police presence and are urging people to allow extra time stepped up security.
The helpline for questions about family or friends is available by calling 02/753.73.00 people concerned about friends and family in the area are asked to use data services such as Whatsapp and Facebook messenger as the communications systems are overloaded.