Belgian police
Belgian police istock

At least four people have been killed and over twenty have been injured, seven badly, after a car rammed into a group of Belgian carnival performers who were preparing a parade early on Sunday, according to reports in Belgian media.

Those in the vehicle have been detained by police, who have yet to officially determine a motive.

The incident occurred in the southern Belgium village of Strepy-Bracquegnies at around four o'clock in the morning, local time.

News site Bel RTL quoted Jacques Gobert, mayor of the neighbouring town of La Louviere, as saying that around 150 people were gathered in the area, preparing for an annual folklore parade that involves costumes and drums, when the vehicle drove up.

"We heard an immense noise...and the car literally went into the group of people," said Bel RTL reporter Fabrice Collignon, who witnessed the incident.

"A speeding car drove into the crowd...The driver then continued on his way, but we intercepted him," added Gobert.