The youngsters had got on the train just before the incident, in Vilvoorde. They could not present a valid ticket, and just attacked the inspector (photo: Schaarbeek station).
"We are talking about a heavy case of aggression after a discussion about a transport ticket", says Frieke Neyrinck of the Belgian Rail Company NMBS. "The man was taken to hospital and will launch an official complaint."
The train couldn't continue, passengers had to switch to another train. Police will watch CCTV footage to investigate the case.
7 in 10 cases of aggression on Belgian trains are linked with fare-dodging. Last year, the NMBS reported 1,363 cases of aggression, that's almost 4 each day. Trades unions demand measures to tackle the problem and want more staff.