Brussels: A small explosion has rocked Brussels Central Station after a suspected suicide bomber detonated a bomb belt, sending terrified passengers fleeing.
Belgian troops patrolling the station swooped in to “neutralise” the man, who was threatening civilians and wearing an “explosive belt”.
Soldiers ran toward the spot, saw wires protruding from the man’s clothes, and shot him “several times” after he appeared to “trigger a device”, according to the report.
The suspect was said to be wearing a rucksack packed with explosives at Belgium’s busiest railway station.
Police sources said the attacker was seriously injured in the blast and subsequently died from his wounds.
Police tweeted to say the “incident involving an individual” was under control and there were no other casualties.
Twitter user Rémy Bonnaffé shared a picture, purportedly taken inside the station, at the time of the explosion.
“Two loud detonations in Brussels Central. For my nose. Then quick popping after each other,” he wrote.
Witness Ludoivic Hampton said something that sounded like a “bomb” went off just 30 metres away from him.
“When you’re walking through central station and something that looked and sounded like a bomb goes off 30 metres away from you. I’m lucky to be alive,” he said.
Arash Aazami arrived at the station just after the explosion.
“As we entered into the station, we were evacuated loudly by some security personnel,” he told the BBC.
“Looked around, saw people running in the streets, trying to seek refuge and decided to do the same ourselves.”
Dozens of police cars could be seen outside the station as passengers reportedly fled “in panic”.
The Belgian capital’s Grand Place, a major tourist site filled with restaurants and shops, was evacuated along with the station about 200m away.
Belgium has been on high alert since suicide bombers killed 32 people on the Brussels subway and at an airport in March last year.