Van strikes Brussels cafe, injuring six people

Video footage shows a white van veering wildly into a cafe terrace in central Brussels


A van struck a cafe terrace in central Brussels on Friday, leaving six people needing treatment for light injuries and shock and investigators trying to determine whether it was an attack or an accident.

The driver fled in the vehicle after the incident shortly before 1 p.m. local time (1100 GMT) and was arrested in the northern city of Antwerp later in the afternoon, Brussels prosecutors told a news conference. His van had earlier been found abandoned in a nearby Brussels district.

Damage is seen at the site where a van drove into a cafe terrace
Damage is seen at the site where a van drove into a cafe terrace

"The facts of course make you think of attacks as have happened in the past, but this is not the only possibility we are considering. It is also possible that it was just an accident," a Brussels prosecution spokesperson said.

None of the injured people needed to be taken to hospital.

One witnesses told Belgian media that the van entered Rue Saint-Michel, which leads into a busy shopping area, with tyres screeching and headed away at high speed.

Video footage of the incident on social media showed the white van indeed travelling quickly and veering wildly, but only brushing the side of the cafe terrace and not obviously targeting people.