Victims of Brussel’s deadliest terrorist attack were remembered on Wednesday morning at the seventh commemoration of the event.
On 22 March 2016, 32 people were killed and hundreds injured after three suicide bombers self-detonated at Maelbeek metro station and Zaventem airport.
A minute’s silence was held at each location at the exact time the explosions took place.
This year, not 16, but 17 names were called out at the airport. The name of Shanti De Corte was added – the young woman who was euthanised last year as a result of her declining mental health after the attack.
In the months following the attack, the lack of response and help offered by the state left survivors and the families of victims feeling disillusioned, adding salt to their wounds.
“Victims suffered significantly as a result of the poor responses after these attacks, there is no question about that,” Levent Altan, Executive Director of Victim Support Europe, which was formed as a result of the situation.
Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander de Croo and EU Parliament president Roberta Metsola were present at the ceremony.
Belgium’s most expensive trial
On 22 December 2022, ten people went on trial over the attacks. The case is expected to last until June, attempting to bring those having orchestrated the March 2016 bombings to justice, and is predicted to cost €35.3 million, making it the most expensive trial in Belgian history.
Six of the men were also found guilty of participating in the 2015 November Paris attacks. The first few months of the trial were overshadowed by the men complaining about how they were treated and even walking out of the hearings, causing several delays.