"This morning we saw various cases of sabotage in Wallonia", says Frédéric Petit of Infrabel. It is not clear who is responsible, but Petit suggests strikers are to blame. "A number of campaigners installed the necessary tools to cause a short-circuit, in order to disrupt the signalling system."
Apart from this, firecrackers were put on the rails. When a train rides across a fire-cracker, this triggers an automatic stop. In other places, a red flag was put across the rails, a common warning for train drivers to stop immediately. There are also talks of people walking on rail beds to disturb traffic.
There were 6 incidents, in Flawinne, Waterloo, Châtelet and La Louvière Sud, but also near Ronse, in the south of East Flanders. Infrabel labels the incidents as "irresponsible and outrageous". "This is really a bridge too far", says Petit. "We will file a complaint against the people who did this."
Michel Abdissi of the Francophone socialist trades union said that his men are not to be blamed for this. "Rail workers don't do things like this. We disapprove of these actions." Abdissi was talking about "isolated" incidents.