Six Dead After Car Runs Into Carnival Crowd in Belgium

There are no suspicions of a terror motive at this stage ■ 'What should have been a great party turned into a tragedy,' the Belgian interior minister said

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Women react as they embrace each other after a vehicle drove into a group of Belgian carnival performers who were preparing for a parade in the village of Strepy-Bracquegnies, Belgium, on Sunday.
Women react as they embrace each other after a vehicle drove into a group of Belgian carnival performers who were preparing for a parade in the village of Strepy-Bracquegnies, Belgium, on Sunday.Credit: JOHANNA GERON/Reuters

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.

The prosecutor's office said that in the early stages of the investigation there were no elements to suspect a terror motive.

A crowd of over 150 were gathered in Strépy-Bracquegnies, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Brussels, at dawn for the start of celebrations of carnival, which had been abandoned for the previous two years because of COVID-19.

“A car drove from the back at high speed. And we have a few dozen injured and unfortunately several people who are killed,” Mayor Jacques Gobert said. Several dozen revelers were also more lightly injured.

The driver and a second person were arrested when their car came to a halt hundreds or meters further on.

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

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

King Philippe and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo were expected in Strepy later Sunday.

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