More than 30 people were killed and hundreds more injured in terrorists attacks in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday morning. Three explosions, which the Islamic State group has since claimed responsibility for, occurred at the Brussels airport and downtown at the Maelbeek subway station.

Photo: @Mr_Ghostly (Twitter)
Photo: @Mr_Ghostly (Twitter)

The tragic events undoubtedly hit home for the glass industry. Brussels is home to the Glass Alliance Europe, which is located a little more than a mile southwest of the metro station and less than three miles southwest of the airport.

The Federation of the Glass Industry, Belgium’s glass association, is also located close by, less than three miles south of the metro station and less than 10 miles southwest of the airport.

Neither organization had responded to from USGNN.com™ inquiries as of press time. According to reports, the blasts affected some communications in the area.

“All suspicious behavior should be reported directly to the security services,” reads a statement by the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium, parent organization to the Federation of the Glass Industry. “… Our thoughts go [out] to the victims and their families.”

The city also houses the European Window Film Association, a chapter of the International Window Film Association, just a few miles from the airport. “No one working there has been affected,” says executive director Darrell Smith.

According to the Associated Press, “The two airport blasts, at least one of them blamed on a suicide bomber, left behind a chaotic scene of splattered blood in the departure lounge as windows were blown out, ceilings collapsed and travelers streamed out of the smoky building. About an hour later, another bomb exploded on a rush-hour subway train near the European Union headquarters.”

According to a statement on the airport’s website, the blasts occurred around 8 a.m.

“There was an initial explosion, and people started screaming and trying to evacuate. Then, there was a second, very strong explosion and it shattered the windows,” a female witness told the news service FRANCE 24. “I think many people were injured by pieces of glass.”

Glass breakage retention continues to be a big concern in these kinds of attacks. “Glass shards traveling at a high velocity can do a lot of damage … without having anything to do with the actual blast,” says Valerie Block of Kuraray.

She says the key to glass safety in these situations is focusing on products that minimize injury due to human contact with the glass after it breaks. “We’re still going to have glass, and we want people to feel comfortable around glass,” she says. “One step that can be taken is addressing post-breakage retention.”

USGNN.com™ will provide updates on the Brussels-based glass associations as they are made available.