The Brussels security forces have drawn up a final assessment of the turbulent New Year’s Eve. Ultimately, 206 troublemakers were arrested, which is 46 more than last year.
These figures were announced by the Brussels public prosecutor’s office on Tuesday afternoon. Of the 206 arrests, 170 were administrative, 36 people were arrested judicially.
The police counted around 100,000 people who came to the center of Brussels on Sunday night. Around midnight, 55,000 people gathered to watch the fireworks. There were also 30,000 attendees at the FCKNYE festival in Brussels Expo.
Fireworks ban ignored
Several municipalities had taken preventive measures and the bad weather may have calmed the mood. It was also striking that the ban on the use of private fireworks and sound cannons in the Brussels Region was massively ignored. Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort (PS) had imposed such a ban between December 15 and January 3.
According to the fire brigade, six people were injured by fireworks, including a teenager in the eye and a seven-year-old child in the hand. One victim lost his hand.
The Brussels fire brigade was called to nineteen burning cars and had to intervene a dozen times to extinguish fires on electric scooters and bicycles. They also had to put out 35 fires in hedgerows, trees and rubbish bins. The number of interventions amounted to 663: 251 fire brigade interventions and 412 ambulance interventions. That’s almost double of a normal watch.
“Our personnel got through this turbulent night without physical injuries. Three firefighters did suffer from tinnitus due to the explosion of heavy firecrackers. Psychologically it is a different story,” says spokesperson Walter Derieuw, referring to the unsafe and unpredictable situations in which they find themselves.
In Sint-Joost-ten-Noode there was a house fire in Liedekerkestraat. Five people, including a mother and her two children, had to be taken to hospital with mild smoke intoxication. A police inspector from the local zone Brussels-North was treated on site, also for smoke intoxication.
This article is originally published on bruzz.be