Brussels storm: One death as baby hit by branch in Uccle park

Brussels storm: One death as baby hit by branch in Uccle park
Credit: Brussels Fire Brigade

Brussels was hit by a heavy storm on Tuesday afternoon, bringing torrential rain and hail along with heavy gusts of wind. One person in the Capital Region was killed by the bad weather – a two-month-old baby in the Brussels municipality of Uccle.

A storm travelled across several parts of Belgium on Tuesday afternoon, with Brussels among the worst-hit areas. Tunnels were flooded resulting in many cars being stuck. Train traffic was disrupted for several hours as trees fell on tracks and overhead wires.

In Wolvendael Park in Uccle, one of the Brussels municipalities worst affected by the bad weather, the heavy gusts of wind brought down a branch, which claimed the life of a baby boy who was being pushed a pram by his mother, the mayor of Uccle, Boris Dilliès, confirmed to The Brussels Times.

As a precaution, all Brussels parks were scheduled to close from 17:00, from which point the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) issued a code orange alert for Brussels. However, the rain started at 16:00, at which time Brussels' green spaces had not yet closed. The mother had entered the park at this time.

RTL reported that the baby was taken to Saint Elisabeth Hospital in Uccle but succumbed to his injuries.

Fallen trees and flooded cellars

"Many trees have fallen, private property has been damaged, and several of our communal infrastructures and parks have been badly hit. In particular, our communal car park in rue du Doyenné, where the ceiling of which collapsed," Uccle commune wrote on social media.

By Wednesday morning, the Brussels Fire Brigade had already dealt with 86 incidents (46 miscellaneous objects that had fallen on streets and pavements, 22 trees that fell down and 18 related to flooding of streets or cellars), its spokesperson Walter Derieuw said.

Damage in Uccle. Credit: Boris Dilliès/ Uccle Commune

Another 200 incidents still marked for attention, though some of these are water problems that have since been resolved. Five teams of Red Cross volunteers replaced firefighters in the brigade's ambulances in order to deploy as many people as possible to deal with the bad weather.

The storm also resulted in several power outages across the region, including in Ixelles – where the issue has been largely resolved – and on the Boulevard Louis Mettewie in Molenbeek, Brussels energy network operator Sibelga confirmed.

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