Belgian PM Suffers Hearing Loss After Starter Pistol Goes Off Near Ear

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7:42 pm 31 May, 2017


Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has suffered a hearing loss due to the firing of a starter pistol in Brussels.

Belgian princess Astrid was invited to fire the starter pistol at the 20K marathon in Brussels on Sunday. The princess fired the pistol close to Michel’s left ear, signalling the starting of the race.

The PM was then photographed wincing at the sound of the recoil.


Barend Leyts, spokesman for the PM, confirmed that Michel has suffered a hearing loss in his left ear and is undergoing treatment for the injury. However, despite the treatment, the PM is still attending office and working as normally as he can.

A study conducted by the International Journal of Audiology concluded that a starter pistol produces a noise exceeding 140 decibels – almost equivalent to an airplane taking off – and can make a person go deaf if the ears are not covered properly.


The annual race saw 40,000 participants and came four days after Michel met US president Donald Trump in Brussels.

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