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One dead, one seriously injured in fight between rival gangs at Zaventem station

09:21 08/05/2023

One person has died and another has been seriously injured after a fight between rival gangs on a platform at Zaventem station on Friday.

The young man killed has not yet been identified but is thought to be a 22-year-old man from Etterbeek, according to the public prosecutor’s office. The seriously-injured victim is a 16-year-old boy from Brussels.

“Initial findings have shown that around 16.15, about 10 people started fighting on the platform of Zaventem station,” said the prosecutor's spokesperson Gilles Blondeau.

“As part of that fight, three people ended up on the tracks where they continued the brawl. Shortly afterwards, a high-speed train passed that spot.

"One of the three people was still able to leave the tracks in time, the two others could not. The motive for the brawl is not clear at this stage.”

One of those two victims died on the spot due to the impact, while the teenager was taken to the hospital.

The prosecutor's office appointed a forensic lab and a law doctor, and called in an investigating judge. Four arrests have since been made, all of them young people from Brussels.

One person was released immediately after questioning while two others were released under conditions, according to the Halle-Vilvoorde public prosecutor's office. A 19-year-old man from Anderlecht has been placed under electronic surveillance.

Train traffic between Brussels-North and Leuven was suspended on Friday on all four tracks and in both directions after the accident, but later resumed.

On Saturday, several local residents and witnesses came to commemorate the victims and lay flowers at the station.

Police will be stationed at certain Zaventem schools in the event of possible revenge attacks related to the gang violence, as rumours spread of threats being made on social media.

“The various messages circulating online regarding possible revenge attacks in the coming days are being followed up administratively by the local and federal police,” Blondeau said.

Police are still looking for witnesses to the fight at Zaventem station, especially anyone with video or images of the brawl.

Anyone with information about the fight is asked to contact the police by e-mail ( or by phone (0800 30 300).

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Written by Helen Lyons