Brussels (AFP)

Hundreds of passengers were stuck Thursday outside Brussels airport, which was hit by a terror attack last year, after a power cut caused flight cancellations.

The blackout triggered by a problem in a high-voltage room caused 16 flights to be scrapped and also triggered delays, airport spokeswoman Florence Mulls said.

The Belgian capital's main airport had to ask many people to wait outside the terminal where officials gave them bottles of water, Mulls told AFP.

Passengers remained calm, she said, adding: "This kind of incident is very disagreable to put up with."

Officials immediately switched on backup power after the power failure at 5:00am (0300 GMT) but could not get the luggage conveyers working.

Staff moved luggage manually before the conveyers were restarted some two hours later.

"Sixteen flights were cancelled," Mulls told AFP. "The biggest impact we felt was in the baggage system with suitcases stuck."

Some 20 percent of the hundreds of flights operating Thursday have also been delayed with further disruption expected "throughout the day", she said.

Brussels airport was struck by two Islamic State suicide bombers on in March 2016, killing 16 people and causing major damage to the departure hall.

A suicide attack on the city's metro left another 16 dead.

The airport reopened just over a month later but was hit by a power cut with severe delays in June 2016.

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