A car crashes into a group of people at a carnival event in Strépy-Bracquegnies. There are several dead and many injured.
+++ 6.10 p.m .: After the car accident in Belgium, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo spoke of “terrible news” from Strépy-Bracquegnies. After Sunday afternoon he visited the scene of the accident with King Philippe and Princess Elisabeth. “It should have been a day to celebrate after a difficult time,” said De Croo in view of the corona pandemic *. Instead, it had become “a day of mourning.”
It is still unclear whether the vehicle was intentionally driven into the group of people. However, the Belgian broadcaster VRT reported that the car occupants who had been arrested in the meantime had come from dancing. Now it will be checked whether they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Belgium: Six people die in car crash
+++ 3.40 p.m .: Six people died in the car accident in Belgium. 37 people were injured, some seriously. Ten people are still in mortal danger. According to Mayor Jacques Gobert, a group of around 150 to 200 carnivalists left the sports hall on Sunday morning to continue towards the center. Then the car crashed into the crowd.
After the collision, the driver is said to have continued driving for the time being, but was then able to be stopped, Gobert continued. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the occupants of the vehicle could now be charged with murder.
Car crashes into a group of people in Belgium: moderator describes dramatic scenes
A moderator from the Belgian radio station RTL, who accompanied the carnival event, spoke of dramatic scenes. The car is said to have driven into the middle of the group of people. “There was music and laughter and three seconds later it was screams. It was terrible,” he described the accident in Belgium. Meanwhile, the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo expressed his condolences. Together with King Philippe, he plans to visit the site of the event on Sunday afternoon.
Horrible news from Strépy-Bracquegnies. A community gathering to celebrate was struck in the heart.
My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. All my support also goes to the emergency services for their help and assistance provided.
— Alexander De Croo 🇧🇪🇪🇺 (@alexanderdecroo) March 20, 2022
The events in Belgium are reminiscent of the rampage during the 2020 Shrove Monday parade in Volkmarsen in North Hesse. There were many injured, including children. The driver deliberately drove his car into the crowd and has since been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Car accident in Belgium: death toll increases
Update from Sunday, March 20th, 2022, 12.45 p.m .: A car crashed into a crowd at a carnival event in Belgium. The death toll has since been updated. Six people died in the accident. Ten other people suffered serious injuries and are in critical condition, according to a spokesman for the rescue services. According to the German Press Agency (dpa), 27 people were slightly injured in the car accident.
It is still unclear why the vehicle drove into the group of people on Sunday morning. A spokesman for the public prosecutor emphasized that there was at least no evidence of a terrorist background. According to dpa information, the mayor of the city of La Louvière assumes that the car drove into the group at high speed.
The two people who were in the vehicle have since been arrested. The prosecutor confirmed that they are from the region and were previously unknown to the authorities.
Belgium: Car crashes into the crowd at a carnival event
First report from Sunday, March 20th, 2022: Strépy-Bracquegnies – In the small town of Strépy-Bracquegnies in Belgium, a car crashed into a group of people. According to initial information from the authorities, at least four people died in the accident in Belgium on Sunday morning (March 20, 2022). This is reported by the Belgian news agency Belga, citing the city’s mayor.
Photos of the accident are circulating on Twitter. According to unconfirmed information published there, the death toll is said to be five. According to information from the dpa news agency, at least twelve other people were seriously injured in the tragedy in Belgium. 20 other people are said to have suffered minor injuries.
#Update: Just in – Picture of the scene at the town of #Strépy-Bracquegnies, where first responders were treating the injured people, when a car plowed it way through carnival bystanders, Killing at least 5 people 12 critically injured and at least 20 other people injured. pic.twitter.com/hdPxCarfpU
— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@sotiridi) March 20, 2022
It was initially unclear whether the driver of the vehicle had intentionally driven into the group of people in Strépy-Bracquegnies. According to the mayor, the driver initially drove on, but was then stopped. A moderator from the Belgian radio station RTL, who took part in the carnival event, reported on dramatic scenes. According to him, the car drove into the middle of the crowd. “There was music and laughter and three seconds later it was screams. It was terrible,” the broadcaster quoted him as saying. According to him, about 150 people attended the event.
Strépy-Bracquegnies is located in south-west Belgium, around 40 kilometers from Brussels. About 8,000 people live in the small town. According to the mayor of La Louvière, the municipal emergency plan was triggered and the victim support service activated. Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden wrote on Twitter that her deepest condolences go to the families and friends of those killed and injured. “What was supposed to be a great party turned into a drama.” (dil/kas/dpa)
In July 2020, a car also drove into a crowd in Berlin. There were several injuries, some seriously. The driver was arrested.
List of rubrics: © Carole Heymans/dpa