Police question crane operator in fatal train derailment; 7 hurt
A total of eight people were injured when an Arriva passenger train hit a crane near Dalfsen on Tuesday morning, mayor Han Noten confirmed in a press conference about the accident. Five people were slightly injured, two were hospitalized and one was killed. The police are questioning the crane operator. It is not clear if he is suspected of anything.
The two more seriously injured people were taken to the Isala Hospital in nearby Zwolle, according to the municipality of Dalfsen. The five slightly injured passengers were allowed to go home after being treated in a home near the scene, according to the local safety office Veiligheidsregio IJsselland.
The train was traveling at full speed from Zwolle to Emmen when it hit the train. There were about 15 passengers on board. Eight escaped unharmed. According to the mayor, the crane operator managed to jump away just before the train hit. He jumped a height of 2 to 3 meters. He is uninjured, but shocked It will take days before the train traffic returns to normal.
"It was a dramatic day", Mayor Noten said at the press conference. "Even while the electricity was still on, the rescue workers went to work to help the victims."
The police launched an investigation into the accident, police spokesperson Isabella Mensink said.
Pier Eringa of ProRail emphasized the importance of taking caution at train crossings. Road users should be aware that signals are not always 100 percent accurate.
According to Eringa, the crane was working a private job and was not working on the track. In theory the crane operator had five minutes to cross the tracks before the train that hit it was due, according to the mayor. Eyewitness Ria van der Ham told broadcaster NOS that from experience, such a crane would need ten minutes to make the crossing.
Arriva confirmed the accident in a short statement on the transporter's website. "Our first concern is for staff and passengers. At this moment we can make no further announcements."
According to Dutch newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden, the police are busy keeping disaster tourists away from the scene.
An information line was set up for those looking for passenger information. The number is 088 11 97 77 7