At a carnival event in Belgium: car drives in a group of people – six dead

In Belgium, a car drove into a group of people at a carnival event. At least six people were killed in the accident in the municipality of Strépy-Bracquegnies on Sunday morning. Ten others were seriously injured.

It was initially unclear whether the vehicle was intentionally driven into the group of people. According to the mayor of the city of La Louvière, the driver initially drove on, but was then stopped. A total of dozens of people are said to have been hit by the car.

The municipality of Strépy-Bracquegnies belongs to the city of La Louvière and is located about 40 kilometers south-west of Brussels. Most recently it had almost 9000 inhabitants.

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.

“What was supposed to be a great party turned into drama”

According to the moderator’s estimates, around 150 people attended the “Ramassage des Gilles” on Sunday morning. People go from house to house to gather for the carnival. The central figure is the “Gilles”, who traditionally wear wax masks with painted glasses and a little beard.

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.” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo also expressed his sympathy and spoke of “terrible news” from Strépy-Bracquegnies.

The events in Belgium are reminiscent of the horror of the Shrove Monday parade two years ago in Volkmarsen in northern Hesse. At that time, 88 people, including 26 children, were seriously injured when a driver deliberately crashed into the Shrove Monday train. The perpetrator has since been sentenced to life imprisonment.

According to the Belgian news agency Belga, the carnival season in La Louvière only started at the beginning of March after strict corona restrictions were lifted. In 2020 and 2021 the carnival had to be canceled completely due to Corona.

By Editor

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