An explosion rocked the check-in zone of Brussels Airport Tuesday, killing and wounding “several” people, an official said.

The blast shook the departures hall shortly after 8 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET).

Pictures from the scene showed shattered glass and debris, smoke pouring from the terminal and passengers fleeing the airport area with the bags.

“There was an explosion … there are several dead and wounded but we can’t say how many at this point,” a federal police spokesman said.

A security source told NBC News the explosion happened near check-in desk four but it was not immediately clear if terrorism was involved.

It comes amid a flurry of counterterrorism activity in the Belgian capital. A raid this week in Brussels captured Europe’s most wanted man — Salah Abdeslam, suspected Paris terror attacks plotter and aborted suicide attacker.


Abdeslam was taken into custody along with several others. His capture has been seen as a potential goldmine of information for intelligence services — if he cooperates.

The 26-year-old and several of the attackers who laid siege to Paris on Nov. 13 had ties to Belgium.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.