Home News Belgian day of mourning planned for gas blast dead

Belgian day of mourning planned for gas blast dead

Published on 02/08/2004

2 August 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgium will observe an official day of mourning on Wednesday to remember the victims of the massive gas blast that ripped through an industrial park in the south of the country last week, it has been confirmed.

Belgian King Albert II and Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt will attend funerals for victims and also take part in a memorial service in the town of Ath, a government spokesman said on Monday.  

Seventeen people, including five firefighters and a police officer died in last Friday’s blast, which happened when a high pressure gas pipeline exploded under an industrial esate near to Ath.

Fifteen of the 17 people known to have perished as a result of the blast were killed instatntly.

The other victims died in hospital.

Officials say 133 poeple were also injured in the expolosion and 63 of them were still in hospital on Friday.

Belgian authorities have warned it could take months, possibly years, to find out why the pipeline exploded.

An enquiry will have to determine whether the pipe was faulty or whether it had been damaged from the outside.

Some Belgian media reports on Monday suggested a possible link between the blast and work to build a new car park at the industrial estate where the disaster happened.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news