Search continues for student (21) missing since New Year’s Eve party
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    Search continues for student (21) missing since New Year’s Eve party

    The 21-year-old student, Frederik Vanclooster was last seen at 3:00 AM in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Credit: Belgian federal police.

    The search for a student (21) who has been missing since a New Year’s Eve party on Tuesday night in Vilvoorde outside Brussels is set to continue on Friday.

    The 21-year-old man was last seen at around 3:00 AM in the early hours of Wednesday morning on Steenkaai in Vilvoorde, at a party in the Kruitfabriek event venue.

    A number of volunteers searched the surrounding area for the 21-year-old on Wednesday, the same day that the federal police launched an official search for the student.

    The following day, on Thursday, somewhere between 150 to 200 volunteers searched Vilvoorde, explains De Standaard. The mayor of Vilvoorde, Hans Bonte, was present during the afternoon. At this stage, a helicopter and two sonar boats had been deployed to assist in the search.

    At around 1:30 PM on Thursday, Alain Remue of the Missing Persons Unit explained to volunteers that “we have come to the point that everything that could be searched on ground has been searched… we are forced to look towards the canal more and more.”

    Thursday’s search came to a halt at around 5:00 PM because it was getting too dark.

    ‘We did everything we could do. We have even checked the underground bed of the Senne. All without a result,” added Remue.

    Detectives will continue the search on Friday, mainly in the Brussels-Scheldt canal, where two sonar boats and a diving team will be deployed, according to Nieuwsblad.

    ‘Water is unpredictable. We do not know where something happened or what happened. There is not much current here, which is an advantage. However, the bottom of the canal is full of [rubbish], so it will be hard to get a good picture,” explained Remue.

    The search is expected to begin at around 10:30 AM.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times