Explosions Rock Brussels Airport, Subway

In this image provided by Daniela Schwarzer, smoke is seen at Brussels airport in Brussels, Belgium, after explosions were heard Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Photo: Daniela Schwarzer / Associated Press

BRUSSELS — Explosions rocked the Brussels airport and the subway system Tuesday, killing at least one person and injuring many others just days after the main suspect in the November Paris attacks was arrested in the city, police said.

At least one person was killed in two explosions in the departure hall at the Brussels airport, police said. All flights were canceled, arriving planes were being diverted and Belgium's terror alert level was raised to maximum. Security was also tightened at all Paris airports.

"One person has died and perhaps there are several more," said a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the situation was developing.

Zach Mouzoun, who arrived on a flight from Geneva about 10 minutes before the first blast, told BFM television that the second, louder explosion brought down ceilings and ruptured pipes, mixing water with blood from victims.

"It was atrocious. The ceilings collapsed," he said. "There was blood everywhere, injured people, bags everywhere."

"We were walking in the debris. It was a war scene," he said.

Near the entrance to the Maelbeek subway station, not far from the headquarters of the European Union, rescue workers set up a makeshift treatment center in a local pub. Dazed and shocked morning travelers streamed from the metro entrances as police tried to set up a security cordon.

"The metro was leaving Maelbeek station for metro when there was a really loud explosion," said Alexandre Brans, 32, wiping blood from his face. "It was panic everywhere. There were a lot of people in the metro."

First responders ran through the street outside with two people on stretchers, their clothes badly torn.

The explosions at the airport hit at the middle of the busiest time there. Smoke was seen billowing out of the terminal.

Amateur video shown on France's i-Tele television showed passengers including a child running with a backpack dashing out of the terminal in different directions as they tugged luggage, Another image showed a security officer patrolling inside a hall with blown-out paneling and what appeared to be ceiling insulation covering the floor.

"I knew it was an explosion because I've been around explosions before," said Denise Brandt, an American woman interviewed by Sky television.

"I felt the explosion, the way it feels through your body. And we just looked at each other and I said 'Let's go this way.' It was over there. There was just this instinct to get away from it. Then we saw people running, crying, toward us. So I knew we were going in the right direction and away from it. "

With three runways in the shape of a "Z," the airport connects Europe's capital to 226 destinations around the world and handled nearly 23.5 million passengers in 2015.

Passengers were led onto the tarmac and the crisis center urged people not to come to the airport.

The explosions happened only days after Salah Abdeslam, the prime suspect in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 people, was arrested in Brussels.

Story: Lorne Cook, John-Thor Dahlburg / Associated Press