Brussels attacks 'shocking' for Toronto man living there

A Toronto man living in Brussels said people in the Belgian capital are managing to stay calm despite explosions at the airport and subway system earlier today that have left at least 28 people dead.
Authorities locked down the Belgian capital on Tuesday after explosions rocked the Brussels airport and subway system, killing at least 34 people and injuring many more. 1:02

A Toronto man living in Brussels said people in the Belgian capital are managing to stay calm despite terror attacks at the airport and subway system earlier today that have left at least 28 people dead.

Tim Maler, a senior correspondent with the EU Business and Agriculture Intelligence Service (Agri Europe), spoke this morning to CBC Radio's Metro Morning show about the attacks. He works not far from the Maalbeek metro station, the scene of a rush hour explosion. 
An injured person is evacuated as emergency services attend the scene after an explosion in a main metro station in Brussels this morning. (Associated Press)

Earlier two explosions rocked a departure lounge at the Brussels airport. Casualty figures continue to come in but at least 28 people are dead in the explosions, news Maler said has shaken the city.

"I was just on my way to work when I heard about the airport explosion," he told host Matt Galloway.

"I arrived at work and shortly after I heard some sirens and quite a bit of noise outside. And then the news broke that the metro attack happened."

"Everybody is just in a state of alert, following the news and staying where we are," he said.  

Belgium terror alert at highest level

In the wake of the attacks, Belgium has raised its terror alert to its highest level, diverted arriving planes and trains and ordered people to stay where they were. Airports across Europe tightened security.

Maler said he feels safe despite the news.

"I'm not nervous for my immediate safety but it's shocking news," he said. "It's a lot to reflect on."

The explosions came just days after the main suspect in the November Paris attacks was arrested in Brussels. After his arrest, Salah Abdeslam told authorities he had created a new network and was planning more attacks.

In the weeks after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that left 130 dead, police investigated connections between the suspects and Brussels but Maler said up until this morning , day-to-day life in Brussels continued as normal, although with heightened security.

"There's no chaotic scenes of despair on the streets," he said. "I do feel safe in this city. It's not a war zone, there are many more dangerous places in the world to live."

"Things are unfolding and it's a lot to process," he said. 


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