Van crashes into Brussels pavement terrace

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Brussels, Europe, Car accident
The van drove at high speed into a pavement terrace in the centre of Brussels and slightly injured at least three people. (PA Photo)

Police have detained a suspect after a speeding van clipped a pavement terrace in the centre of Brussels and slightly injured at least three people.

The van’s driver rode off after running into some tables, said Willemien Baert, a spokesperson for the Brussels prosecutor’s office.

“We are still assessing several possible motives,” she said.

“The facts remind us of attacks such as we have seen abroad. But this is not the only motive we are looking at,” Ms Baert said, adding that it could have been an accident.

“A number of people were very slightly injured and were treated on site without having to go to hospital,” she told reporters.

Security camera pictures showed the white van driving through a narrow side alley of the Rue Neuve shopping street and clipping, rather than driving into, a few tables as people scattered to safety.

In past years, authorities in Europe have determined that people who drove into crowded public areas and caused multiple casualties sometimes held extremist beliefs or had mental health problems.

“We are in close contact with our security services and are following this from close by,” Belgian interior minister Annelies Verlinden said.

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