Two members of a police motorcycle escort accompanying prime minister Charles Michel and his British counterpart Theresa May were injured yesterday when a car ran into the motorcade in what was later described as “an unfortunate accident”. The two premiers were returning from the cemetery of Saint-Symphorien, where they had paid tribute to the dead of World War One (photo). As we reported yesterday, the cemetery happens to be the last resting place of the first and last British soldiers to die in that conflict.
As the prime ministers, accompanied by a security detail, were later on their way to SHAPE near Mons, a car appeared to try to break through the line of official cars, hitting two police motorcyclists and knocking them to the ground.
Security officers took protective action and emergency services were called. At one point, prime minister Michel was reported to have been out of his car on the road, on his knees to check the condition of the motorcyclists. They were taken to hospital, and found to be suffering only minor injuries.
The woman driver of the car was detained and questioned, on the suspicion that the crash may have been an attempt at a terrorist attack. The woman, police said, had unintentionally failed to follow the directions of police motorcyclists who had gone ahead to the next on-ramp to hold up traffic while the convoy passed.
“This was an unfortunate accident,” a spokesperson for the prime minister said.