The De Keyserlei, near Antwerp Central Station, was closed for two hours on Friday after the discovery of a suspicious suitcase. The Dovo mine clearance service arrived on site to check the suitcase.
The police were alerted to the suspicious package just before 4 p.m. In the Appelmansstraat, one of the side streets of the De Keyserlei, passers-by had noticed a black sports bag against the facade of the Orange store. “As a precaution, the De Keyserlei was closed to all traffic, pedestrians and cyclists,” says spokesperson Wouter Bruyns of the Antwerp police. “We don’t take any risks in such situations.”
The residents were asked to stay indoors and at the same time the police redirected all passers-by via the Rooseveltplaats. All shops within the perimeter were closed or inaccessible. De Lijn buses also experienced disruption.
The DOVO mine clearance service had to arrive on site to analyze the package. The police warned that the package would be neutralized in a controlled manner, but no explosion occurred. Around 6 p.m. the news arrived that the mine clearance service had been able to open the suitcase for investigation in a different way. The contents, some clothes, turned out to be harmless. The De Keyserlei was reopened just after 6 p.m.
The silence on De Keyserlei was overwhelming. — © jtp