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Two toddlers leave school unaccompanied and wander through Brussels

15:45 12/09/2022

Two toddlers in a Brussels nursery school managed to leave the building without an adult and wander through the city unaccompanied for nearly an hour.

The three-year-olds slipped away in the first week of the new school year due to "confusion" on the part of a member of staff who was manning the school exit, RTL reports.

The incident happened around midday on Wednesday 31 August - when children finish school at lunchtime.

A staff member by the school’s exit mistakenly assumed they were walking to a man nearby.

"There was a father next to the two children and the teacher thought it was the children's father," the director of the nursery school explained.

But when one of the children’s mothers arrived to pick up her child, she was distraught to find they were not there. She alerted the school, which immediately contacted police.

The children apparently wanted to visit a bouncy castle on Place Rogier. A passer-by discovered the toddlers near Brussels-North station, which is about a 10-minute walk from the school, and was worried about seeing such young children alone.

“It's an unfortunate event but thankfully the children are not traumatised,” the school’s director said. “The children were found quickly.”

The mother who spoke with RTL said she was upset by the lack of reaction from the school and alleged that the gate at the exit is frequently left open and unattended.

The school’s director denied this, saying: "We are not understaffed."

Written by Helen Lyons