Brussels Airport Delays Reopening; Death Toll Lowered to 32
Earlier toll, following confusion between two lists of people who had died at Brussels airport and hospital, was 35
Brussels airport said it would not reopen on Wednesday despite
drills to test resuming partial services after the suicide bombings that struck
its departure hall and a metro train, as Belgium lowered the death toll to 32.
Zaventem airport has been closed since the twin bombings wrecked the departure hall on March 22, in coordinated suicide attacks that were claimed by the Islamic State group and which also hit Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels.
A total of 32 people were killed in Belgium’s worst-ever terror attacks, the government said, down from an earlier toll of 35, following confusion between two lists of people who had died at the scene and in the hospital.
After thorough verification: number of victims goes down to 32. 94 people still in hospital.Maggie de Block, Belgian Health Minister
All the victims have now been identified – many of them
foreign nationals, a testament to the cosmopolitan nature of a city that is home
to both the European Union and NATO.
Hundreds of employees returned to the airport on Tuesday for a large-scale test run to determine if services could partially resume from today – but those hopes were dashed.
Airport spokeswoman Anke Fransen said authorities were reviewing the results of the practice run, adding: “We hope to reach a decision on a partial re-opening of the airport in the course of (today) morning.”
The airport’s chief executive Arnaud Feist has warned it could take “months” for Zaventem to be fully operational again.
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