Ambulances kept away from fatal Maastricht stabbing over terrorism fears

Ambulance. (Photo: Politie)

Ambulances were kept away from the scenes of two fatal stabbings in Maastricht last week because a terrorism protocol was in effect, the police confirmed to Dagblad de Limburger on Friday. 

Two people, a man and a woman, were killed and two others were injured in stabbing incidents on Botsaarsstraat and Joseph Postmesstraat on Thursday last week. A 37-year-old man was arrested at a nearby mosque. The suspect was also injured.

The police took into account that this incident could be a terrorist attack, police chief Gery Veldhuis said to the newspaper. According to him, the situation that night was chaotic - there were three possible crime scenes, the victims were Syrian, and there was the possibility that there may be a second perpetrator due to confusing descriptions. A terrorism protocol was implemented, and for that reason ambulances were kept at a distance. Police officers gave first aid while others searched for the suspect.

Veldhuis is considering asking the Justice and Security Inspectorate to investigate whether this terrorism protocol works effectively, as well as look into department's actions that night, according to the newspaper. 

Family members of the murdered woman accuse the police and public health service GGD of negligence. They told the Limburger that the woman was bleeding to death while ambulances stood hundreds of meters away. 

The police and GGD told the newspaper that they understand the emotions of the victims' families, but can not make any statements about the woman's chance of survival if the ambulance was able to reach her sooner. 

Shortly after the stabbings, local residents speculated that the suspect was seeking revenge. According to them, the man who was killed was known to abuse his wife.