4 SNCB ticket inspectors were physically attacked by a group of youths in the Mouscron train station on Saturday morning. The attack was allegedly triggered by a “strict” spot check on revellers on the Tournai-Mouscron train. The 4 inspectors suffered various levels of injury leading to their hospitalisation. The case is being investigated by the Tournai-Mons prosecutor.
Emergency services in Mouscron were called on Saturday morning at 7:57am, and told that several people had been injured in a violent incident on the train platform in Mouscron station. 2 ambulances were dispatched. Ambulance staff dealt with 2 cases of minor injuries and 2 people more seriously hurt. The 4 victims were all controllers for the SNCB and were admitted to the CHM hospital in Mouscron. One of the victims needed multiple stitches.
3 youths were arrested following the incident The case has not reached the stage of preliminary hearing yet and is still being investigated by judicial authorities in the district of Mons-Tournai. “The 3 young people arrested were going home after enjoying the Tournai carnival. Probably under the influence of alcohol, they arrived too late to buy train tickets. The SNCB regulation has changed since February of last year, and anyone travelling without a ticket must pay an additional charge. This is what effectively happened on Saturday morning and the inspector was unmoved by the fraudsters’ pleas for leniency.
The SNCB policy creates this sort of situation. It is deplorable and we are asking for an investigation to take place. There will be legal consequences. Please give us time to look into the situation,” said Christian Henry, public prosecutor in Mons-Tournai, on Sunday at 2:30pm.
The SNCB confirmed that there was an assault, but gave no further details. “As is always the case with this type of events, we strongly condemn such actions and we reserve the right to take legal action against those responsible for the attack,” said an SNCB spokesperson on Sunday.”