Two police officers from the Ghent police were fatally injured on Saturday morning in a traffic accident on the Ghent ring road. The man and woman were on their way to the Overpoort, where a hundred ‘revelers’ had turned against the police and threw bottles.
‘Our feelings go out to our colleagues and their families. We’ve been hit hard.’ That’s what the Ghent police say. Two of their colleagues were fatally injured on Saturday morning in a traffic accident at the intersection of Martelaarslaan and Great Britain Avenue, on Oude Bijloke.
The accident happened just after 4 a.m. Saturday morning. The two police vehicles, a Volkswagen Tiguan and a combi, drove to the Overpoort to provide assistance during riots. At the intersection of Martelaarslaan and Groot Brittaniëlaan, the driver of the Volkswagen Tiguan probably lost control of the steering wheel and collided with a pole of the tram. The impact was so hard that the engine flew out of the car. The vehicle came to a standstill across the road and presumably the police combination could no longer avoid the colleagues’ car.
Police spokeswoman Liesbet De Pauw stated on Saturday morning: ‘The public prosecutor’s office has been informed and the investigation is ongoing. The danger to life for my colleagues has now passed.’
De Pauw says about the riots at the Overpoort: ‘A mix of non-students and visitors from abroad kept it quiet, but around 3 o’clock a fight broke out. The police quickly got it under control, but the atmosphere became more grim.’
After a new intervention in a fight, a group of about a hundred people turned against the police in the Overpoort. “Bottles were thrown and people were in real danger. The police officers on duty in the Overpoort were assisted by other Ghent police officers, but that was insufficient. Colleagues from other police zones also came to help. Calm finally returned around 5.30 am.’
There were no judicial arrests during the riots in the Overpoort. They were handled administratively.
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