Saturday, 04 March 2017
A bag of white powder was found near a building at Porte d’Anderlecht, near the Samusocial, Saturday lunchtime. The police and fire department have revealed it was drugs, not anthrax. Nine people were taken to hospital as a precaution.
Brussels emergency services were called at around 1.30pm, after three people came into contact with white powder they had found in a bag. Brussels police and the fire department attended the scene, and a safety perimeter was set up. The bag containing the white powder was placed in a decontamination container. Around 200 residents were evacuated and taken to a daytime centre for refugees as a temporary security measure.
Nine people were decontaminated and taken to hospital as a precaution. There was a moment of confusion as police lost track of the bag containing the white powder. It soon emerged that one of the men taken to hospital had taken the bag with him as he thought it might be useful at the hospital.
The police also bought in a sniffer dog. The animal reacted to small quantities of the powder, which suggested it was drugs and not anthrax. Once police got the bag back, it was tested to find out exactly what was in it.