15 November 2004
BRUSSELS – A father and his five children were burned alive in a car in Brussels over the weekend, said a state coroner on Monday.
A passer-by found the family in a field in the early hours on Sunday at Merchtem in northwest Brussels.
Investigations are continuing to determine whether the Congolese man and his children committed suicide or whether another person set the car alight from outside.
The first autopsy carried out on Sunday on the father and one of the sons found traces of soot in their lungs, said a Brussels coroner.
The Brussels coroner who ordered the autopsy said the findings showed that, “the occupants of the burnt car were alive at the moment when the fire started.”
The results of three further autopsies were expected later on Monday.
Toxicology tests have also been carried out to see if the family was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the fire.
Suicide notes are also being studied.
The children’s’ mother, as well as an uncle of the family, have been questioned by police.
It has also been reported that the father called relatives in the UK a few hours before the fire, saying he intended to commit suicide.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news