In Belgium the emergency services use the telephone network provided by the part state-owned telecommunications company Proximus. On Thursday night issues arose after engineers from Proximus had carried out technical work. The emergency services could not to contacted for several hours.
To make matters worse there were also issues with the BE-Alert system that should have sent those that subscribe to it a text message with details of telephone numbers with which they could contact the emergency services if necessary. A large number of people report receiving no such text despite being signed up to BE-Alert.
In a statement Proximus said that "The vast majority of our interventions pass without issues, but this time things when wrong during a planned intervention”.
Engineers worked through the night to fix the fault. Eventually at 6:30 am Proximus announced that the emergency numbers were back in use.