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Six injured after van rams into Brussels restaurant terrace, driver arrested
Six people were slightly injured after a van drove into the terrace of Le Corbeau restaurant in Brussels city-centre around 13.00 on Friday, confirmed city fire and police services.
The driver of the van fled the scene, but was later arrested in Antwerp, report local media. Police deployed a helicopter during the search. The van involved was found in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, according to Brussels police. It underwent inspection by the army demining service SEDEE.
The Brussels public prosecutor's office does not rule out that the incident could be a terrorist attack, but is examining other possibilities, said the spokesperson for the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office Willemien Baert. Speaking at a press conference late Friday afternoon, she said it could also be a traffic accident.
“The motives of the suspect are not yet known. I know that the facts are reminiscent of attacks that took place in the past but for the moment, it’s not yet certain that it is an attack. It’s also possible that it is just a accident. We must wait for the continuation of the investigation to know the exact motive."
Following the incident, the threat level was briefly raised from 2 to 3 in some areas of Brussels. The Coordination Body for Threat Analysis (Ocam) indicated that “worrying elements” had been discovered but were followed by “reassuring elements”.
The accident occurred in Rue Saint-Michel, a small street that connects Boulevard Adolphe Max and Rue Neuve.
According to an employee of a barbershop located opposite Le Corbeau, the van raced past at a tremendous speed. But the driver had time to turn the car around and flee via Boulevard Adolphe Max, said Mia Jackson.
Emergency services, including the fire brigade, created a security perimeter around the scene. So far, no one appears to be seriously injured. "None of the people injured in the incident with the van need to be taken to hospital," said Brussels fire brigade.
Photo: Belga/Kristof Vanhoutte
This article was updated at 21.00 following new information