A racist incident in Ghent has spurred an investigation after a bus driver refused to help a teenager stuck between the vehicle’s closing doors and instead told her to “go back to her own country.”
Witnesses of the incident described seeing how the driver ignored a teenage girl who panicked after she became trapped between the doors of a De Lijn bus at a stop near Ghent’s Korenmarkt.
“I saw how a teenage girl had her arm stuck between the closing doors, she must have been 15 years old” one witness said, according to news site HLN, which described the victim of the incident as having “foreign roots.”
“We immediately notified the driver but he remained impassive, he just stared at his dashboard as if he needed to inspect everything,” the witness, referred to as PD, continued.
When the girl attempted to free herself from the doors in “every possible way,” and after repeated insistence from passengers, the witness said the De Lijn employee lashed out at the teenager.
“He suddenly shouted to the girl that she was not allowed to kick his bus and that ‘they should go back to their own country’,” PD said.
The incident is now being “thoroughly” investigated, according to the outlet, after PD filed a complaint with the transport company following the verbal attack, which took place on Wednesday.
“We take this very seriously and will investigate this thoroughly,” a statement from the company read. “De Lijn does not tolerate any form of racism and attaches great importance to mutual respect between drivers and travellers.”
The Brussels Times