Cops hospitalized in fireworks blast as day of protests draws to a close
The police in Amersfoort arrested three protesters on Wednesday for throwing fireworks at motorcycle police officers. Two of the three officers involved had to be hospitalized with hearing problems. A fourth protester was arrested for hindering an ambulance, the police said.
The fireworks incident in Amersfoort happened at around 6:00 p.m. on Oude Lageweg. The officers were guiding protesting farmers and construction workers when fireworks were thrown at them from a passing van. The police immediately intervened and arrested three people from Amersfoort.
The suspects were involved with the construction workers' protests, the Utrecht police said on Twitter. "Based on the external characteristics, such as banners, we could tell that it concerned people who were involved in the demonstration", a police spokesperson told RTV Utrecht.
The three are in custody for questioning. More strong fireworks were found in their van, according to NOS.
In Groningen, a tractor driver was arrested on the A7 between Beerta and Scheemda on suspicion of hindering an ambulance. According to the police, the ambulance was transporting a patient and had its flashing lights on. It was hindered when it tried to pass some agricultural vehicles. Only the ambulance braking hard prevented a collision, the police said.
The arrested tractor driver is a 17-year-old from the municipality of Westerkwartier.
Farmers and construction workers protested against the government's measures to reduce nitrogen emissions on Wednesday. The protests largely involved go-slow actions on the highways, though farmers also surrounded two distribution centers, protested at Mediapark in Hilversum, blocked the station square in Groningen, blocked access to a bus station in Den Bosch, and blocked two border crossings.
The protests caused traffic problems throughout the day.