The bodies of five children and one adult were found today in a smouldering car that Belgian authorities believe was intentionally set on fire north of Brussels, an official said.
The car was found in Merchtem, and Eddie de Block, the town’s mayor, said it appeared impossible the fire had been set inside the car.
“There are suspicions that someone set it alight from outside and then went running,” De Block told the VRT radio station.
Police were alerted to the burning car shortly before 5am local time, and there were conflicting reports on the identity of the adult.
De Block said the adult was a Congolese man and the father of the children. He told VRT that police were interrogating the mother.
But the RTBF radio station cited police sources as saying that authorities were searching for the father, who fled the scene.
De Block said the children were aged “from one born in 2000 to one aged 17”.
The deaths are the latest in a series of killings that have shocked Belgium.
On Friday, a Turkish man surrendered to police after allegedly killing four women in two western towns during a shooting spree. Two men also suffered serious gunshot wounds.
News reports said the 35-year-old suspected his wife was having an affair and killed her and his sister. He then killed his former girlfriend and her mother.
In another incident Thursday, a nurse suffering from depression confessed to strangling her two-year-old daughter in the northern town of Brecht.