Saturday, November 12, 2005

Unexpected fires

After spending some time in Milan, yesterday I flew back to Brussels. Ironically, while I had some vague worries about the situation in Brussels, I ended up coming much closer to harm and fire in Italy during the one hour bus ride to Orio al Serio airport. At 7 am I took the bus in Milan to catch my morning flight. Just a few kilometers outside Bergamo (where the airport is) we hit an enormous traffic jam, which held us up for about two hours. Needless to say I missed my flight.
When we did start moving again we drove past a completely burned out truck.

Apparently the vehicle was carrying sodium cyanide, one of the most powerful poisons known to man, and it had caught fire shortly after 6 am. Because of the material involved both sides of the highway were blocked off for several hours. I could find no information on what happened to the driver. Otherwise, I am thankful that others were apparently not harmed, and Virgin Express (unlike Ryanair) graciously allowed all the passengers who had missed their morning flight as a result of the accident to transfer to the afternoon flight free of charge. During the wait I took a walk around Bergamo, which is a very picturesque town, and the rest of my journey was uneventful (though I am still knackered).
Today I went around central Brussels a bit, but everything seemed normal. I hope this doesn't degenerate:
In Belgium’s sixth consecutive night of car torching, fifteen cars, including one truck and a bus, were damaged by fire – eight of them in Brussels.
The Belgian police has always looked a little feckless to me. I guess now we'll find out what they are really made of. Though that's slightly unfair: it is really up to the politicians to authorize what measures are to be taken (and they haven't been doing a great job of it).

No comments: