Share article:
Share article:

Body of missing student found in canal

Divers from the Vilvoorde fire brigade work on the Brussels-Scheldt canal searching for a sign of the missing student © Thierry Roge/Belga

The body of the missing student Frederik Vanclooster (21) has been recovered from the Brussels-Scheldt canal at Vilvoorde.

Frederik went missing on the night of 31 December to 1 January after last being seen at around 03.00. The alarm was raised when he failed to return home. On New Year’s Day itself a group of volunteers gathered to carry out a search near the place where he was last seen, the events hall De Kruitfabriek in Vilvoorde. They picked up the search again on Thursday, by now accompanied by the missing persons unit of the federal police.

On Friday, Brussels fire service set about sounding the canal using divers from Vilvoorde and a sonar boat, but without result. They announced they would be resuming the search

on Tuesday.

In the meantime, on Saturday the missing persons unit called in a helicopter to help them search the River Senne between Vilvoorde and the point near Mechelen where it joins the Dijle. Meanwhile the firemen had decided to resume their search of a stretch of the canal between the viaduct on the Ring and the Kruitfabriek, a distance of some 600m. As Alain Remue, head of the missing persons unit made clear on Saturday, if Frederik had gone into the water at New Year, there was no hope he might still be alive.

This morning, Sunday, it was reported that the divers with their sonar boat were back out on the canal from 09.00. Our divers are impatient,” said Vilvoorde mayor Hans Bonte by way of explanation. “That’s why they decided on this kind act. Out of compassion and commitment.”

Remue went further. “We had an offer from the divers from the Vilvoorde fire service to see if they could help out. Our technical team will go out with the divers to check right by the banks of the canal, from the Kruitfabriek in the direction of the viaduct, because that’s the area that interests us most. It’s no simple job: the ground is covered in rubbish there. It’s going to be slow, but it’s very useful that we’re able to do it.”

In the event it took less time than Remue had anticipated. Frederik’s remains were discovered before 11.30.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgium’s Consultative Committee to meet early this week
The next meeting of Belgium's Consultative Committee, scheduled for Friday, has been brought forward to Tuesday at 4:30 PM, according to local media ...
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever are world’s biggest plastic polluters
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Unilever were found to be the world's biggest polluters of plastic in a report published by Branded on Monday. Over 11,000 ...
Four men charged with illegally buying thousands of live ducks to hunt on private land
Four Belgian men will appear in court on Monday facing charges related to the purchase of thousands of ducks, which were then released into a private ...
More wolf attacks: 15 deer killed at family resort over the weekend
Fifteen deer were killed by wolves in the Belgian province of Limburg this weekend, between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The deer were ...
Cost of breast cancer still too high for many patients
Breast cancer still carries too high a cost for patients when one in nine women in Belgium will face the disease before reaching 75, according to a ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave
It's the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again. Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss ...
Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26
A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the ...
Rise in fuel prices will bring Belgian State €547 million in tax, say Workers Party
The sharp rise in fuel prices that have been felt across the continent will bring an additional €547 million to the Belgian State, the Workers' Party ...
Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims
After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when ...
Person hit by train in Brussels
A person was hit by a train in the tunnel between Brussels North and Brussels Central at around 10:20 AM on Monday, railway network manager Infrabel ...
Hire bikes and scooters: Brussels Parliament wants to restore order
Majority parties in the Brussels Parliament plan to enact new rules allowing communes to set specific and mandatory parking spaces for hire bikes and ...