Northumberland woman concerned for family after Brussels terror attacks
A Belgian woman living in Northumberland has told of her struggle to check on loved ones in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels, including relatives who work at the city's bombed airport.
More than 30 people have been killed and around 200 injured in two explosions at the city's main airport and another at a Metro station. The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind the attacks in a statement issued on the IS-linked Amaq agency. Belgium has raised its terrorism alert to its highest level. Three days of national mourning have been declared.
Cindy Jonas, who is from Belgium originally and has cousins working at the airport, says it's been difficult to get through to people back home. In an interview with Radio Borders News, she said: "I still can't speak to my dad and because the phone lines are completely dead it is really, really panicky, because you don't know what's going on and it is stressful because living so far you can't just jump in the car."All the news are bringing constant, constant breaking news and I don't even know how bad it is now. All I know is that I want to know if my family are safe and I try to ring them, but all the phone lines are completely dead."There was just panic and then I managed to get through to my mum. She said we have no news about my uncle or my cousin. It's just like chaos and it is unbelievable. My direct family are all living and working near Brussels. I actually have some cousins that work at the airport so it's just like proper chaos. For people that know the area, you think what if that was me or what if it is my sister or my brother!"
Twin blasts hit Zaventem airport at about 07:00 GMT, with 11 people reported killed. Another explosion struck Maelbeek metro station near EU headquarters an hour later, leaving about 20 people dead. Brussels police have issued a wanted notice for a man seen pushing a luggage trolley through the airport.