a car rushes into the crowd, what we know of the tragedy which left at least six dead

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Une voiture a foncé sur une foule se rassemblant pour participer à un carnaval dimanche matin à Strépy-Bracquegnies dans le Sud de la Belgique, tuant au moins six personnes et en blessant 26 autres, ont annoncé les autorités. PHOTO SAMI BELLOUMI LA VOIX DU NORD.

There are at least six dead. The vital prognosis is engaged for ten other people.

> At high speed

The accident happened around 5 a.m. on Sunday. “
A speeding car slammed into the crowd that had gathered to watch (the carnival),”
told the Belga press agency Jacques Gobert, the mayor of La Louvière, a town located not far from the French border and on which the village of Strépy-Bracquegnies depends.

According to a statement from the mayor’s office, a group says ‘pickup » (people gathering to go to the carnival) of a hundred people had just left the Omnisports hall to go back to the center of the village when a vehicle drove into the crowd.

> Six people died on the spot


In the current state of the investigation, we know that a vehicle drove into a collection group and that we deplore six deaths, 26 injured at various stages
” of which “
10 people whose life is currently in danger
“, declared Damien Verheyen, deputy public prosecutor of Mons, during a press conference in La Louvière.

Earlier in the morning, the emergency services had reported 6 victims who died on the spot, 10 victims in serious condition transported to various hospitals in the region, 27 people injured more lightly. 70 other people affected by the tragedy but without injuries were taken care of in a communal hall. The emergency device was lifted around 9:30 a.m.

> Two people arrested, the terrorist track dismissed


The car was occupied by two people who were arrested
“, indicated the public prosecutor of Mons, specifying that they are from La Louvière and born respectively in 1988 and 1990. He added that the terrorist track was excluded for the moment. The two people had not yet been questioned this Sunday before noon, said the king’s prosecutor. According to the first elements, the two individuals were not known to the judicial authorities either.

> The King and the Prime Minister on site in the afternoon


Horrible news from Strépy-Bracquegnies
“Lamented Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Twitter. “
A community that was 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
“, added Mr. De Croo who was to go there during the day, accompanied by King Philippe according to the office of the Prime Minister.

In Belgium, towns and villages organize many street parades for Carnival, the best known in Binche and Aalst. Like that of Binche, the carnival of Strépy-Bracquegnies welcomes costumed participants, the “Gilles”, summoned early to participate in the parade.

> “Lots of people on the ground”


I walked beside
“, told a witness, Théo, on Belgian public television RTBF. “
I turned around and saw a car speeding through the troop
“.


She arrived very quickly and did not brake. She continued and she boarded a Gille 100 meters further
“, continued the young man. “
There were a lot of people on the ground”.


What was supposed to be a fun party turned tragic. We are monitoring the situation closely.”
tweeted Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden. “
My sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who died and were injured in the incident that occurred this morning in Strépy
“.

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