Childcare organizations stop using electric cargo bikes after fatal rail accident
Multiple childcare organizations stopped using their Stint cargo bikes to transport kids following a fatal railway accident involving such a vehicle in Oss on Thursday morning. Four children between the ages of 4 and 8 were killed. An 11-year-old girl and a 32-year-old woman were seriously injured. The injured child and two of the other victims were sisters, according to the police.
Childcare organization Humanitas, the largest childcare organization in the Netherlands with 327 locations, announced that it will not use its Stints for the time being, NU.nl reports. Humanitas has 60 Stints spread across the country.
Organization AVEM, with 40 locations in Oss and surrounds, also stopped using their Stints "until further information is available", a spokesperson said to the newspaper. The children will be picked up with other modes of transport for the time being.
KindeRdam, with around 70 locations in Rotterdam and the surrounding area, did the same. "We called the supplier who is starting an investigation. Until it's done, they will be kept out of use", a spokesperson for the KindeRdam said.
Other childcare organizations, including Patrou and DAK, will continue using the vehicles. "We follow the investigation closely, but to date no other accidents have been reported", a spokesperson for DAK said.
State Secretary Stientjie van Veldhoven of Infrastructure told the newspaper that it is not yet possible to say what caused the accident, so no judgment can be made about the Stints yet. "Everything has to be investigated. It is also up to the daycare center to consider this. I understand why they are thinking about it."
The investigation into the accident is in full swing. The train involved in the accident is equipped with cameras on the front. The police are looking at the footage from these cameras, as well as from cameras at the nearby Oss West station. The police did not want to speculate on the role the Stint played in the accident before the investigation is concluded, according to NU.nl. They expect that the investigation will "take some time".
ProRail is also investigating. According to the rail manager, it currently does not seem that there were any issues with the railway crossing at the time of the accident. CEO Pier Eringa said that this type of accident is rare, but that rail crossings remain dangerous in general. He also said that Thursday was dominated mourning and grief.
ProRail is working on reducing the number of railway crossings in the Netherlands.