Belgians evacuated from Japan arrive home

A plane carrying thirty-two passengers from Japan arrived at Melsbroek military Airport outside Brussels on Monday evening. Most of the passengers were Belgians. Tests showed that none of the people on board displayed high levels of radiation.

The passengers include Belgian families, but also mixed Belgian-Japanese couples and their children. Belgian students and the staff of the Belgian Embassy in Japan were also on board. One Hungarian and two Lithuanian nationals also made the trip.

Tests carried out in Madrid showed that nobody on board displayed increased radiation levels. The Belgians were supposed to fly out of Japan on board an army Airbus, but the plane broke down in Alaska. The Belgians flew out of the country on board a Spanish flight bound for Madrid. They made the final leg of their journey on board an air force plane.

On their arrival the passengers were shielded from the press. Initially sixty Belgians had planned to make the journey, but possibly because news from the Fukushima nuclear plant was less worrying or because the delay caused by the break down of the Belgian army plane disrupted their plans in the event only 32 people made the trip.

People fresh back from Japan and worried about their health can phone the toll free number 0800/14689. They can also undergo a scan at the military hospital in Neder-over-Heembeek.