x

Society

Car Runs into Carnival Revelers in Belgium, Killing 6

BRUSSELS (AP) — A car slammed at high speed into Carnival revelers in a small town in southern Belgium early Sunday, killing six people and leaving 10 more with life-threatening injuries, authorities said, adding many others were lightly injured.

“What should have been a great party turned into a tragedy,” said Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden.

The prosecutor’s office, which gave the death toll, also said two local people in their thirties were arrested at the scene in Strépy-Bracquegnies, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Brussels. Prosecutors said, in the early stages of their investigation, there were no elements to suspect a terror motive.

In an age-old tradition, Carnival revelers had gathered at dawn, intending to pick up others at their homes along the way, to finally hold their famous festivity again after it was banned for the past two years to counter the spread of COVID-19. Some dressed in colorful garb with bells attached, walking behind the beat of drums. It was supposed to be a day of deliverance.

Instead, said mayor Jacques Gobert, “what happened turned it into a national catastrophe.”

Police secure the area after an incident at a carnival, in Strepy-Bracquenies, Belgium, Sunday, March 20, 2022. A car slammed at high speed into carnival revelers in a small town in southern Belgium, killing six people and leaving 10 more with life threatening injuries. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

More than 150 people of all ages had gathered around 5 a.m. and were standing in a thick crowd along a long, straight road. Suddenly, “a car drove from the back at high speed. And we have a few dozen injured and unfortunately several people who are killed,” Gobert said.

The driver and a second person were arrested when their car came to a halt a few hundred meters (yards) further on.

Since Belgium was hit with twin terror attacks in Brussels and Zaventem that killed 32 civilians six years ago, thoughts of a terror motive are never far away.

But prosecutor Damien Verheyen said “there is no element in the investigation at this time that allows me to consider that the motivations of the two could have been terror related.”

The prosecutor’s office also denied media reports that the crash may have been caused by a car that was being chased by police.

King Philippe and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo were expected to visit Strépy-Bracquegnies later Sunday to express support for the families of the dead and those injured.

Carnival is extremely popular in the area. Carnival festivities in nearby Binche have even been declared a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

RELATED

ATHENS - Greece confirmed 3,190 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said on Saturday, bringing all confirmed infections since the pandemic began to 3,442,963 (daily change: +0.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission…To The Holy Land – A TNH Documentary by Clelia Charissis

This past Easter season, this great feast, Pascha for Greek Orthodox Christianity and Passover for Judaism, found us during Holy Week in the Holy Land, at the Gate of Worship.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.