EU offices evacuated due to fire
Hundreds of people have been evacuated after a fire broke out in the basement of the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, officials say.
A BBC correspondent near the Berlaymont building saw thick smoke pouring from the roof. Several fire engines and ambulances rushed to the scene.
Information officer Nico Keppens said security personnel had told him that there was a fire in the press room.
There have been no reports of any injuries, officials say.
"I think everybody was evacuated. There was no panic," Mr Keppens told the BBC. People have been told to keep a safe distance.
Mr Keppens said there was no information on the cause of the blaze.
The Berlaymont, a four-pronged glass and steel structure in central Brussels, has 18 floors and offices for some 3,000 EU officials.
I could see the smoke in the corridors, and about 20 minutes later people were told verbally to leave the building. But there was no fire alarm
Darren Ennis, Reuters journalist
Officials said the building was evacuated within minutes of the alarm being raised shortly after 1300 (1100 GMT).
Clouds of thick black smoke, smelling strongly of burnt oil, were later seen rising from the roof of the building, the BBC's Dominic Hughes says.
Journalists working in the press room, known as "the bunker", said they had noticed a steady build-up of smoke for 20 minutes before then, but that the smoke detectors had failed to react.
"There was a lot of smoke. The internal security and fire marshals were running around, trying to find the source of the fire. It smelled horrible and wasn't like a gas smell," said Darren Ennis of the Reuters news agency.
"I could see the smoke in the corridors, and about 20 minutes later people were told verbally to leave the building. But there was no fire alarm. After we left, I saw Commission President [Jose Manuel] Barroso leave."
"A Commission spokesperson said the fire probably started in the basement. There's lots of printing, paper and store rooms down there. The smoke would have gone up the ventilation system to the roof," he added.