A Belgian bus driver has been stabbed by fighting youths in the town of Hulst in the Dutch province of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen close to the Belgian border, De Lijn has confirmed.
The driver had just boarded his bus when he was followed by a group of youths who started picking fights with other passengers and hammering on the windows.
The driver protested and ordered the three youths to get off the bus. One refused and pulled a knife from his pocket. In the end he left the bus.
However he continued shouting and banging on the side of the bus, at which point the driver took out his phone to film the incident. The youth reacted by getting back on the bus and attacking the driver, who sustained a wound to the chest.
Emergency services were called and the driver taken to hospital. Police are now trying to trace the attacker on the basis of video footage.
According to Karen Van der Sype, spokesperson for the Flemish public transport authority De Lijn, which operates several bus lines into Zeeland, the driver is doing well.
“One of our drivers became involved in an incident with a group of youths at the terminus,” she said. “He sustained a stab wound to the chest. He is currently in hospital, but his life is not in danger.”
She was unable to say if the video footage being examined was shot by the driver himself.
“There is camera footage in the bus, which the Dutch police are at present analysing,” she said. “We can only hope the guilty party is caught soon.”
Last month another driver for De Lijn was stabbed ten times in the chest for no apparent reason on a route from Boom to Lier in Antwerp province. That driver finished is route before bring taken to hospital. His injuries were not life-threatening.
Drivers for De Lijn, Van der Sype said, are all trained in how to deal with aggression.
“This is of course a very traumatic experience, and everyone here at De Lijn is terribly shocked by this incident.”