A suspected suicide bomber who allegedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" before triggering an explosive vest at Brussels Central Station has been gunned down and killed by soldiers.
Shots rang out soon after 9pm as police and soldiers moved in to "neutralise" the man, who was said to be "threatening rail passengers" in what is being considered a terrorist incident.
Initial reports suggested the suspect, described as being "tanned and well-built", was wearing a rucksack packed with explosives - while witnesses later claimed he tried to blow up a trolley or a suitcase, the Daily Mail reports.
Terrified passengers inside the station ran towards the tracks as they tried to avoid the blast. There were no other casualties reported and police quickly said the situation was "under control".
Tourists were among those who fled in panic, and within a few minutes the busy nearby shops and restaurants were shut down.
The Grand Place, the city's most popular tourist spot, was completely evacuated alongside the station 650 metres away because of fears that the man might not be acting alone.
"The attacker was shot several times, and it appears that he triggered a device," another source added.
There are no other casualties in the incident, which is being treated as an act of terrorism, the Belgian federal prosecutor confirmed.
The suspect shouted out "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) before causing the explosion on Tuesday, a witness said.
Nicolas Van Herrewegen, a railway sorting agent, said he had gone down to the station's mezzanine level when he heard someone shouting.
"He [The suspect] cried 'Allahu Akbar', and he blew up a trolley. I was behind a wall when it exploded," he said.
"I went down and alerted my colleagues to evacuate everyone. He was still around but after that we didn't see him. It wasn't exactly a big explosion but the impact was pretty big. People were running away."
with short hair, wearing a white shirt and jeans.
He added: "I saw that he had something on him because I could see wires emerging, so it may have been a suicide vest."
Local media also corroborated reports later on that the suspect blew up a trolley or suitcase in an increasingly confusing situation over the sequence of events.
A spokesman for Belgium's railway operator said: "A crowd panicked in the station and ran for the tracks after an incident."
Images shot at the scene showed an explosion, and what looked like an individual on fire. Belgian Rail says traffic has been halted at the station with local media reporting that there was a small blast there.
Belgian Police have said an incident with a person in Brussels central station is under control.
Soldiers, firefighters, armoured trucks and police were pictured outside the station after it was evacuated. Federal police have confirmed the blasts and say soldiers opened fire on man.
One witness claimed he was "lucky to be alive" after something that sounded like a "bomb" reportedly went off just 30 metres away from him.
Ludoivic Hampton said: "When you're walking through central station and something that looked and sounded like a bomb goes off 30 metres away from you. I'm lucky to be alive."
Broadcaster RTL quoted Fires Services spokesman Pierre Meys confirming that some kind of an explosion had happened in the city's Central station on Tuesday. Meys could not say what had caused the blast.
He could only confirm that firefighters were at the scene.
A police spokesman said: "There was an accident at Central Station. There was an explosion around a person. That person was neutralised by the soldiers that were on the scene.
"At the moment, the police are in numbers at the station and everything is under control."
Prime Minister Michel and the interior minister were in the national crisis centre monitoring developments.
Brussels has been on the highest state of alert for more than a year after a series of devastating attacks on its transport system in March 2016.
Three coordinated suicide bombings took place at the city's airport and at the Maalbeek Metro station, with a total of 32 people killed, and 300 people being injured.
Three terrorists linked to Islamic State died in the bloodbath, and all were linked to those who carried out another devastating attack on Paris in November 2015.