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Man freezes to death in Antwerp
Despite authorities' best efforts at getting homeless people into shelters this week as temperatures dropped to -10°, a 54-year-old man was found dead on the street in Antwerp on Thursday morning.
Flanders News reports that the man was a Romanian national. He was found on Diksmuidelaan in Berchem in front of a night shop.
Authorities recognised the man, who they said was often seen further northeast in the streets of the Deurne district. They are now trying to determine if he had a home. The shelters in Antwerp had adequate space this week, the OCMW reported.
The freezing temperatures this week saw increased efforts being made to get homeless people off the streets. The mayor of Etterbeek, for instance, made headlines when he gave police the mandate to arrest any homeless people who refused to be escorted to a shelter. In the end, police were able to convince people to accompany them to a shelter without having to arrest anyone.
In Ghent, the shelters were completely full as early as Monday. Like in Brussels, authorities went looking for homeless people to get them into shelters. If they refused to go, they were given extra supplies, such as blankets and clothing.
Temperatures on Friday will hover around the freezing point, with light snow expected in the afternoon. The cold snap will break on Saturday, when temperatures are expected to climb to 7°C, where they will remain for several days.