Six Killed, Dozens Injured After Car Crashes into Carnival Crowd in Belgium

At least six people were killed and dozens more were injured after a car crashed into a crowd of carnival-goers on March 20 morning in a small town in southern Belgium.

Deputy Crown Prosecutor Damien Verheyen said 10 people were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries while 27 were “slightly injured” after the incident, which occurred at 5 a.m. local time in the small town of Strépy-Bracquegnies, near La Louvière.

“A car came from the back at high speed and crashed into group, pulverized a large number of people, continuing its way before stopping a little further down,” La Louvière Mayor Jacques Gobert told reporters.

Gobert said the crowd comprised of around 150 to 200 people.

Police spokesperson Cristina Ianoco told BBC that the car tried to drive off after hitting the crowd but “was quickly stopped by police.”

Police arrested the two men in the car, who were both locals and in their 30s, Ianoco said.

Verheyen said a “reconstruction of the facts” will be conducted to determine the exact route of the vehicle and any potential motive.

Police denied earlier reports that the incident was a high-speed police chase.

Police also ruled out that the incident was a terrorist attack.

According to authorities, five emergency vehicles and 16 ambulances were deployed to transport the victims to various hospitals in the area.

Authorities also said 70 non-injured people were evacuated from the scene.

“What was supposed to be a fun party turned tragic. We are monitoring the situation closely,” Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden said.

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