Two people have died and five are in critical condition following a BlaBlaCar bus accident on Sunday on a motorway in northern Belgium, AFP reports
According to the report, the driver, a 35-year-old Frenchman working for the company BlaBlaCar, was arrested after the accident on Sunday.
The driver of the BlaBlaCar bus, who is of French nationality, was arrested following a positive saliva test for narcotics, announced the Antwerp prosecutor’s office. This 35-year-old Frenchman is currently being questioned and his license has been withdrawn, said the prosecution, quoted by the Belga agency, AFP revealed.
Two people are dead and five are in critical condition according to the Belgian federal police. Twenty-two other passengers were injured more lightly, reports the same source.
An open internal investigation
The bus was carrying 30 passengers and made the Paris-Lille-Amsterdam connection, a BlaBlaCar spokesperson told AFP. The passengers are mostly French but people of Spanish, Canadian, Mexican, Croatian and American nationalities were also on board, according to the Belga agency.
“Although drug checks are not legally required for the driver to start the bus (unlike what exists for alcohol), we apply strict procedures to select and check our bus partners,” says BlaBlaCar, adding to have “launched an investigation” into “this security failure”.
She specifies that she “contacted VIC, the partner operating this bus line, to understand the circumstances of the accident and to help the passengers”.
The bus has deviated from its trajectory
Photos of the accident show that the red BlaBlaCar van rolled over on its side, and its windshield shattered in the crash. It would have deviated from its trajectory and struck the concrete rail bordering the highway. If certain Belgian media, like SudInfo , evoke the possibility of the driver dozing off at the wheel, the circumstances of the tragedy remain to be clarified.
The accident occurred at midday, around 11:45 a.m., on a highway in the province of Antwerp near the town of Schoten. The section of the highway where it occurred, towards the Netherlands, was temporarily closed to traffic.
“When a major accident occurs so close to your home, it affects you all the more. I sympathize with the families affected. I thank the emergency services, some of which are still on site, for their quick and dedicated help” , reacted on Twitter the Belgian Minister of the Interior, Annelies Verlinden.