IA truck crashed into a neighborhood festival in the Netherlands, killing several people. The truck got off a dike on Saturday evening in the village of Nieuw-Beijerland near Rotterdam and drove into a barbecue, the police said. The exact number of fatalities was not known until late in the evening. The salvage work continued. Eyewitnesses spoke of great chaos and a picture of devastation.
The broadcaster NOS reported at least three dead and several injured. In order to get final clarity, the articulated lorry, which came from a Spanish trucking company, should first be salvaged. A crane truck arrived. Ten ambulances and a helicopter were deployed. Several victims were taken to the hospital, the broadcaster reported. The truck driver was not injured and was taken to the police station for questioning.
A white van was searched for in the evening. What he had to do with the accident remained unclear.
“You can imagine what a blow it is: during a neighborhood festival, a truck drives into this group of people, the shock is enormous,” said a police spokeswoman for the Omroep Rijnmond broadcaster. The community is taking care of the numerous witnesses to the terrible events. A special company was commissioned to salvage the truck. Only then could experts recover the dead underneath.
The accident happened near an intersection. The rather narrow streets run along a dyke, at the foot of which the festival was in progress. “It’s a very close-knit village community here in Nieuw-Bejerland,” Mayor Charlie Aptroot told NOS. The accident was a terrible blow for the residents. “People want to know how their relatives or close friends are doing. But there is no complete overview yet.”
Around 100 people had registered for the festival organized by an association, a local resident told Omroep Rijnmond. Another neighbor spoke of “complete chaos”. Everyone was in a panic. Everyone wanted to help. “But there were an awful lot of injuries.”