Public Prosecutor opens investigation into bomb threat in Flanders' schools

Public Prosecutor opens investigation into bomb threat in Flanders' schools
The Public Prosecutor's office is starting an investigation over the bomb threat to all the schools in the three municipalities of Aarschot, Diest and Westerlo in the Flemish-Brabant province earlier on Wednesday. The police have investigated the schools thoroughly: a sweep of all school buildings was done to look for a bomb, but nothing was found according to the latest information. The general public was asked to avoid the surroundings of the municipalities of Aarschot, Diest and Westerlo, "so that the police and social workers can do their jobs," reports Het Nieuwblad.

A little before noon, all schools in Aarschot were declared bomb-free. "All schools in Aarschot are now safe to return to," the schools communicated to the public. "The judicial investigation is ongoing. Returning to school to pick up stuff is possible, but to avoid traffic jams, we recommend that you do so only if really necessary," they added.

Around 14:00, the other schools in Diest and Westerlo were also declared bomb-free by the investigators.

In the coming days, the city council will also organize an information moment for the management of the schools. That way, the city wants to guide teachers and students as well as possible in processing the facts, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

Related Content: Thousands of students evacuated in Flanders after bomb threat

The bomb threat happened last night around 3:00 AM when a letter that was hung at the Westerlo fire station threatened "to have a bomb go off at 10:00 AM in a school in Aarschot, Diest or Westerlo". The person who hung the note appeared on camera images, confirmed the Antwerp public prosecutor.

People who live in Aarschot and nearby municipalities within a radius of 50 meters around a school were asked to stay indoors, and keep windows and doors closed.

Due to parents driving to school to pick up their children all at the same time, traffic chaos originated. Police remain present in most places to regulate traffic, but the municipalities are asking everyone who can, to come on foot or by bike.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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