Town hall boss caught up in Belgium bombings

In this image provided by Daniela Schwarzer, smoke is seen at Brussels airport in Brussels, Belgium, after explosions were heard Tuesday, March 22, 2016. (Daniela Schwarzer via AP)
In this image provided by Daniela Schwarzer, smoke is seen at Brussels airport in Brussels, Belgium, after explosions were heard Tuesday, March 22, 2016. (Daniela Schwarzer via AP)
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Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn is among travellers caught up in terrorist attacks in Brussels.

The town hall chief flew into the Belgium capital just after the bombs exploded this morning.

At least 26 people have so far been confirmed as having been killed or seriously injured in the attacks at Brussels international airport and a city metro station.

Coun Blackburn arrived at Brussels Charleoi Airport - south of Brussels and some distance from the site of today’s attacks - and had been due to meet with the North West’s Euro MPs.

He said: “We’ve been here for about three hours, perfectly safe and well, but obviously following subsequent explosions near to the European Parliament, it has been impossible to make further progress.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the attacks in Brussels, and their families.

“I am very grateful to the Belgian Police and military, who are present in great number, for making us feel safe. We will travel home as soon as possible.”

Twin blasts hit Zaventem airport at about 7am GMT, killing 11 and injuring 81, the health minister said.

Another explosion struck Maelbeek metro station an hour later. Brussels transport officials say 15 people were killed and 55 injured, 10 seriously.

Belgium has now raised its terrorism threat to its highest level.