Saturday, 3 June, 2023

Dutch rail crash: One dead after passenger train hits crane and derails

Dutch rail crash: One dead after passenger train hits crane and derails

At least one person has been killed and about 30 injured - some seriously - after a passenger train derailed in the western Netherlands.

Emergency services say the overnight crash happened after the train transporting about 50 people hit a construction crane near the village of Voorschoten.

A freight train is also reported to have been damaged in the collision.

Some people were treated at the scene but 19 have been taken to hospital.

The crash happened at about 03:25 local time (01:25 GMT) on Tuesday.

Pictures from the site showed overturned carriages and a plume of smoke rising into the sky.

"We heard a bang first and then later, a much more intense one," one local resident told the AFP news agency.

"Then we heard people screaming. It was not good."

Several investigations have been opened into the incident, including by ProRail - the governmental body responsible for the country's rail networks.

The nearby Leiden Central Station, which lies between The Hague and Amsterdam, has been closed.

No trains to and from the city are expected to run until at least 16:00 local time (14:00 GMT).

"This is an incredibly tragic accident," Voorschoten Mayor Nadine Stemerdink said.

"We regret there was also a fatality. My thoughts go out to all the family and friends of those involved."

The country's Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has expressed his condolences, as have the King and Queen.

"Our thoughts are with the victims of the train accident at Voorschoten and their families," a statement from the Royal House reads.

"Many are now in fear and uncertainty. We deeply sympathise with all of them."

The BBC's correspondent in The Hague, Anna Holligan, has said that this sort of incident is extremely rare in the Netherlands, where the rail systems are generally very safe.