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Moments of silence and noise to mark 22 March
Belgian dignitaries will take place in commemoration ceremonies in three locations next Wednesday, marking the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks at Brussels Airport and Maelbeek metro station. The attacks on 22 March 2016 killed 32 people and injured more than 300.
That morning, three men entered the departures hall of Brussels Airport. Two of them detonated devices contained in luggage. The third left the airport and walked into Brussels. His unexploded bomb was found later.
About an hour later at Maelbeek metro station in the EU district, a fourth suicide bomber detonated his device inside a metro carriage.
Next Wednesday, a minute’s silence will be observed at the airport at 7.58, the exact time the first attack took place. Belgian dignitaries, including the king and queen, political representatives, Brussels transport staff, emergency services and families of the victims, will then take the train into Brussels for the second commemoration at Maelbeek.
Also at the airport, the sculpture “Flight in Mind” by Brussels artist Olivier Strebelle, which used to stand in the departures hall, will be unveiled at its new location on the approach road to the airport.
A minute of silence will then be held at 9.11 at Maelbeek station, which will be closed to traffic from 8.00 to 10.30. Also at 9.11, the entire STIB public transport network will come to a halt – not for a minute’s silence but for a minute of noise. Drivers want to communicate that they will not be frightened by terrorism. Passengers are requested to take part by applauding, STIB said.
Finally, the dignitaries and relatives will move to Kleine Wetstraat, between Schumanplein and Jubelpark, for the inauguration of a memorial designed by Belgian sculptor and actor Jean-Henri Compère.