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Thousands stranded in Belgian rail havoc

Thousands of travelers were stranded at Belgian train stations Monday in stifling heat, causing around 10 people to be hospitalised as a technical glitch disrupted service, officials said.

Service was delayed across western Belgium after an overhead train contact line broke between Brussels and the coastal city of Oostende, leaving beachgoers who had taken advantage of a sunny day to visit the North Sea stuck at several stations.

In Blankenberge, about 10 people were taken to hospital due to the heat as temperatures reached 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit), according to Belga news agency.

Another dozen people were treated at the station, firefighters said.

The Red Cross and firefighters distributed water to stranded travelers, with rail service only expected to resume normally on Tuesday morning.

The stations most affected were in Blankenberge, Brugge, Oostende, Torhout and Lichtervelde.