A Belgian mother has reportedly received a bill for $20,000 for damage done to rail tracks after her daughter was hit and killed by a train in 2014.
Charlotte Nunez, 12, was taking a selfie on a train platform with a friend when a train hit her, the Mirror reported.
She was killed instantly by the impact.
“The letter says that my daughter is a minor and that I am responsible for damage caused by the accident,” Carla Nunez, Charlotte's mother, told the Flemish news site Het Laaste Nieuws.
She said the demand for payment felt like a “hammer blow.”
The bill was sent by SNCB, the national operator of Belgium’s railway system.
“When you receive a letter like that, it knocks you down,” Carla said. “These people cannot have children to be capable of doing something so monstrous.”
Carla explained that she will not have to pay for the bill herself because it is being dealt with by her insurance company.
SNCB says relatives are only asked to pay for damages resulting from accidents if the company knows they have an insurer to cover the costs, The Bulletin reported.
“I have a good mind to go and ring on the doorbell of Jo Cornu [chief executive of SNCB] to ask him what in the hell possessed his company to do such a thing,” Carla said.
David Geerts, a member of the Belgian parliament, said he was outraged by the letter.
“Instead of sending them a bill for damages, even if they do not have to pay themselves, it would be better to show empathy,” Geerts said.