Flemish Parliament evacuated due to bomb alert

The meeting of the Flemish Parliament’s Budget Select committee has been adjourned due to a bomb alert. The entire Flemish Parliament building has been evacuated to enable police to carry out a thorough search with the help of explosives detection dogs. MPs from the ruling centre-right coalition and the opposition had been discussing the budget figures released by the new Flemish Government yesterday. The debate was adjourned and will not resume again for the rest of the day.  

A call was made to the Flemish Parliament in which someone said in English that there was a bomb in the building. Those in charge of managing the parliament building took the bomb threat seriously not least as a reception was planned in the parliament building later today to celebrate the 40th  anniversary of the foundation of the Kurdish Institute in Brussels, sources told VRT News.  The reception has also been cancelled.

The Brussels-Elsene Local Police Service Spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere told VRT News that "The Speaker decided to evacuate the building. We are now checking all the rooms in the parliament building”.

The Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (nationalist) told VRT News "We don’t take a decision like this lightly”. Mr Jambon added that there are “serious indications” that the threat should be taken seriously.  

"The building is currently being swept. The situation will soon be under control”, the Flemish PM concluded.