Brussels attacks: Leuven’s 60-minute refusal to send further emergency services help to Zaventem.
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    Brussels attacks: Leuven’s 60-minute refusal to send further emergency services help to Zaventem.

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The Leuven Centre 100 (control room for the fire brigade/ambulance) refused to send additional ambulances to Brussels Airport on March 22nd until 8.55 a.m. This was indeed almost an hour after the two explosions in the departure hall. So it emerges from a report by the Fire and Emergency Medical Assistance Service (SIAMU). The Secretary of State with portfolio for Fire and Emergency Medical Assistance, Cécile Jodogne (of the Independent Democratic Federalists) has now sent this report to the relevant inquiry committee. So reports Le Soir on Monday.
     
    The Commanding Officer for SIAMU’s emergency assistance was at the airport from 8.20 a.m. onwards. Heeding the seriousness of the situation, he requested that further emergency assistance be sent immediately. However, the Leuven Centre 100 considered that this was “unnecessary”.

    “There are currently sufficient means on the ground,” Leuven responded when he called them himself around 8.45 a.m. The situation only eased around 8.55 a.m. when the Medical Director of the Emergency Plan intervened.

    Jodogne considers that there was “an underestimation of the seriousness of the situation,” in Leuven. She has sent the SIAMU report and transcriptions of communications to the President of the Terrorist Attack Committee in the House of Representatives, Patrick Dewael, to “contribute to improving action in such cases.”

    Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)