A woman and a child were rushed to the hospital after falling into the River Meuse in the town of Andennes on Sunday evening in circumstances that remain unclear.
The woman and the child, aged 3, were pulled from the water in respiratory arrest, and were both rushed to different hospitals, according to reports by RTL.
Residents near a playground located by the river rushed to assist the pair after they fell into the water at around 6:30 PM on Sunday, near Quai de Brouckère.
"Someone threw a pebble at my window to ask for help" a witness identified as Vincent told RTL. "A mother (sic) and her young child were in the Meuse."
He said the woman was screaming as she held the child in her arms, with her head below water as they were carried away by the strong current.
When a firefighter pulled the child out of the water, he was no longer breathing and his eyes were rolling to the back of his head, with Vincent adding that he and other residents had thrown a cable extension the woman held onto until she too was pulled from the water in respiratory arrest.
The emergency services performed CPR on both the victims before the child was taken to the La Citadelle regional hospital centre while the woman, who witnesses referred to as the child's mother, was taken to a different hospital.
On Monday, both the woman and the child remained in a delicate condition, and authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, which is thought to be the result of an accident, according to 7sur7.
Vincent, the eyewitness who reported the incident to RTL, said that in the area where the incident took place, a new playground had been built, which residents had reported to the mayor as dangerous for lack of security infrastructure.
"There is a housing settlement along the river bank, and there is a new playground for children," he said, adding that the area was not properly lit nor protected and that children often dropped their balls into the Meuse.
The Brussels Times