The first message about the camel was spread around noon. The official tweet said the delay 'could take up to 10 minutes' but not longer. The message triggered a lot of inspiration among social media users.
The situation could quickly be resolved: the animal was thought to have escaped from a nearby safari park, it could be read.
"What happened to the camel?" a reader asked. "It was returned to a nearby safari park." (...) "It doesn't always have to be a cow", the NMBS responded. Even climate change popped up: "Is the desert now conquering Belgium already?" a reader asked.
"Sorry, the camel we tweeted about was a dead cat"
However, it all turned out to be a big misunderstanding as the NMBS had made a blunder. It was all due to a confusion of tongues: the NMBS apparently received a French message about "un chat mort" (a dead cat) but interpreted it as "un chameau" (a camel).
The NMBS tweet account sent a message later in the day to correct things. "It was a warm day for everyone! The camel that we tweeted about was a dead cat" Belgian Rail wrote. The pun was continued in Dutch as a reader invented the word "katmeel", a combination of kat (cat) and kameel (camel), a catmel in other words.