Two dead and several injured in bus accident, driver tests positive for narcotics

Two dead and several injured in bus accident, driver tests positive for narcotics
The scene of the bus accident. Credit: Belga

A serious accident with a travel coach that took place just before noon has completely blocked the E19 motorway from Antwerp to Breda, according to local police and the Flemish Traffic Centre (Vlaams Verkeerscentrum).

A serious bus accident took place near Sint-Job-in-'t-Goor (Brecht) around 11:45 on Sunday. The BlaBlaCar travel coach, which reportedly had a French number plate, had 30 people on board, according to a spokesperson for the vehicle-sharing platform. The driver has since undergone a drug test.

"The driver, a 35-year-old French national, has been held for questioning after failing a drug test," the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Antwerp told Belga News Agency. According to the latest update from the Federal Police, the accident left two people dead and several seriously injured.

Most of the passengers were French, along with a few Spanish nationals, Belga News Agency reported, quoting the communal administration in Schoten. BlaBlaCar has since set up an emergency number, 0801/90.75.58 for relatives of victims of the accident.

Motorway shut off

The handling of the case is still in progress, Belga News Agency reports. In the direction of Antwerp, too, two lanes were closed off to give the emergency services space to clear the scene of the accident.

The police have warned people who are travelling to the Netherlands to not drive on the E19 to Breda, as the highway is "closed just before Sint-Job due to a serious accident with a bus. Avoid the area."

"It concerns a serious accident on the E19 in St-Job-in-'t-Goor. The motorway there will undoubtedly remain CLOSED for a long time in the direction of the Netherlands," said Vlaams Verkeerscentrum spokesperson Peter Bruyninckx.

"All traffic must leave the motorway via exit Kleine Bareel and drive around to exit St-Job. Avoid the area," he added.

Tweet translation: "Attention: Do NOT drive on the E19 -> Breda if you want to go to the Netherlands. The highway is closed just before Sint-Job due to a serious accident with a bus. Avoid the area." It was later confirmed by the police that all slip roads and various parallel roads in the area are closed. "For example, you can no longer access the motorway at Kleine Bareel." One person stuck in the traffic jam said cars are now clearing the way for the emergency services. For longer distances in the direction of Breda or Rotterdam, it is better to take the A12 past Bergen-op-Zoom.

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