Botanique metro station evacuated after youths set fire to train

The metro station Botanique on the Brussels metro lines 2 and 6 was evacuated yesterday after youths started a fire on board a metro train.

No-one was injured, and metro traffic was interrupted for a time before being re-established by around 20,40, Stib spokesperson Françoise Ledune said.

The youths are thought to have used petrol and a lighter to start the fire. One window gave way to the heat, and a moulding above was melted. The train was taken to a Stib depot for repairs.
The station was evacuated because of the smell of burning and heavy smoke.

The Stib intends to file a complaint. “The police have been informed, and footage from security cameras on the platform and in the train itself will be examined,” Ledune said. “This is an act of vandalism. Luckily it created more upset than damage.”

In another incident on Saturday, a panel on the side of an escalator in the tram-metro station Midi sprang loose, bringing the escalator to a grinding halt. One passenger had to jump out of the way on the moving escalator to avoid injury when the steps began to give way.

“He jumped over the bottom step,” spokesperson An Van Hamme said. “For safety’s sake an ambulance was called, but nobody was caught between the steps. We are investigating how this could have happened.”

This is the first time such an incident has taken place involving a Stib escalator, she said. All escalators are regularly serviced by an outside specialist company.

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