Brussels Commuters Are Helping Each Other Find Shelter By Using The #OpenHouse Hashtag

People in the Belgian capital are coming together, offering shelter and rides to those stranded under the hashtag #OpenHouse following terror attacks at the airport and a metro station that claimed at least 28 lives Tuesday morning.

People in Brussels are opening their homes and their cars using the hashtags #OpenHouse and #IkWilHelpen as the city reels from explosions at the airport and a metro station.

The original hashtag was created by Alexandre Alaphilippe, a communications manager, who occasionally works with the emergency services.

He told BuzzFeed News he had been inspired to start the hashtag after a friend’s similar hashtag trended across the French capital in the wake of the Paris attacks.

He said he was “just providing something to help people to get organized.”

Alaphilippe said towards the end of Tuesday that the reaction to the hashtag had been “great” and added: “People want to help.”

Si besoin, #openhouse à proximité du quartier européen et de la place Jourdan. #Brussels #PorteOuverte #Schuman #BrusselsAttacks

— Sybille Kowalski (@sybkow)

S'il y a des gens de Bruxelles coincés à Namur, je peux héberger/recueillir quelqu'un, ne serait-ce que pour un peu de soutien #Brussels

— Mali (@IamNanouche)

#openhouse, si vous êtes coincé à Liège sans pouvoir rentrer à Bxl ce soir - on peut loger 1 personne! #Liege

— Nadia Gregoire (@Na_dou)

#openhouse #Brussels if you're stuck in brussels today we can accommodate a family. Equipped for babies too.

— julien bloit (@jbloit)

At least 31 people were killed in the Belgian capital Tuesday morning and several others were injured after two explosions were reported at Brussels Airport and a third was reported at the Maelbeek metro station.

The people of Brussels have pulled together to help each other out in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

Across the country, many Belgians started tweeting under the hashtag “#IkWilHelpen”, or “I want to help”, offering their support.

By the end of Tuesday, the hashtag was trending across the country. Individuals also created Twitter accounts to direct stranded individuals towards offers of help.

#ikwilhelpen #brusselsattack #brussels --> PM me if you want a pickup between 14-15h to Antwerp or de Kempen !!

— Janica (@UwSecretariaat)

somebody needs a place to stay, not far from brussels/zaventem? we can help #zaventem #tousensemble #ikwilhelpen

— Tine Hens (@MissTie)

We kunnen niet veel doen, maar kom ons toch maar vinden als we iets kunnen doen. Wonen op kwartiertje van Brussel. #ikwilhelpen

— ♘ shequus (@shequus)

If someone needs a place to stay later or tonight near Watermael or Uccle, you're welcome. #ikwilhelpen #PorteOuverte #OpenHouse

— Özlem Ida Levin (@ozlemlevin)

I can host 2 ppl in need of a place to stay, wifi, shower 🚿 - place brugmann area #ikwilhelpen

— Katelyn Saarinen (@KatelynPS)

Meanwhile, stranded commuters have tweeted that drivers had offered them lifts from the city centre.

An EU official, who did not want to give his name, told BuzzFeed News he was waiting for a bus heading into work when he first heard news of the explosions and was quickly offered help from fellow commuters.

“There were immediately cars stopping and offering lifts,” he said. “In fact, I got to work with someone driving a delivery van.”

There were also accounts set up offering to help stranded travelers get home.

If you’re a driver and want to help, tweet your trip and time with #brusselslift — #solidarity #STIB #MIVB #Brussels

— Brussels Lift (@BrusselsLift)

At Least 31 People Reported Dead After Terror Attacks In Brussels

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Rose Troup Buchanan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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