Horrifying video shows van driving into cafe at high speed injuring 6 people
'This was deliberate, he wanted to hit everything in his way, there was panic,' said one witness about the driver who rammed his vehicle
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: The capital of the Battlefield of Europe was shocked after a hit-and-run incident where a driver rammed his van into people sitting at a cafe terrace in Brussels at an extremely high speed, injuring six people. The driver drove his vehicle a van into the seating area outside a crowded cafe in Brussels on Friday, August 26. The driver did not stop and fled the scene and the police found the abandoned vehicle one hour after the incident.
The male suspect committed this crime at around 1 pm and the police found the abandoned vehicle at 2 pm. Six people suffered minor injuries and were even treated at the scene itself without having to go to the hospital. Local media reported that the 48-year-old suspect was arrested two hours later in the city of Antwerp, 28 miles north of Brussels. Prosecutors did not name the man but said that he is being questioned by the police. This hit-and-run case could have been fatal but the witnesses acted fast. The vehicle attacked Rue Saint-Michel which runs next to rue Neuve and is one of Brussels' main pedestrian streets.
Willemien Baert, a spokesperson for the Brussels prosecutor's office told the reporters, "We are still assessing several possible motives. The facts remind us of attacks such as we have seen abroad. But this is not the only motive we are looking at." Baert also added that it could have been an accident, she continued, "A number of people were very slightly injured and were treated on site without having to go to hospital. At the moment there are still several avenues open and being investigated. Facts are reminiscent of attacks such as abroad. But another route is that it is a normal traffic accident or another motive."
🚨🇧🇪 #Belgium: CCTV footage of the security incident earlier today. The driver of a van run over people near a bar in central #Brussels, leaving six injured. Belgium raises the terrorist threat level in Brussels to 3. pic.twitter.com/KakH417CRo— Terror Alarm (@terror_alarm) August 26, 2022
Van crashes into a cafe terrace in Brussels
HLN further reported that the terror threat level was initially raised from two to three, meaning severe, by the Belgian authorities and was later restored to two. The mayor of Brussels, Phillipe Close, told the Le Soir newspaper that the vehicle entered Rue Saint-Micheal "at an extremely high speed and was aiming for the terrace." The prompt response from the diners enjoying their time at 'Le Corbeau' and 'City Pizza' helped prevent a fatal incident.
A witness shared his experience with VRT saying, "The driver drove from left to right down the street and hit everything he came across. We, my girlfriend and I, had to jump for our lives. This was deliberate. He wanted to hit everything in his way. There was panic. People were screaming and yelling. I saw some people were injured too. Most of them were in shock. I was in shock myself. It was terrible." Witnesses were then escorted to the police station for further investigation. As of now, the motive of the driver is unclear.