Car crashes into primary school during kids' farewell party; parent held

Dutch police at the scene of a crime
Dutch police at the scene of a crimePhoto: twixx/DepositPhotos

Update 10:20 a.m. - updated the article to add details of the man in custody for crashing his car into the school

A car crashed into a primary school building in Grootebroek in Noord-Holland on Wednesday evening. Kids and parents were in the school's gym at the time for a farewell party for group 8 pupils, who are going to secondary school after the summer. Nobody was injured, the police said on Twitter. The driver was detained for questioning.

The incident happened at primary school 't Palet, according to AD. The police confirmed to NH Nieuws that the driver is a 55-year-old man with at least one child attending the school, who had a conflict with the school. His kid was not at the farewell party, because they are not in group 8. The man was under the influence of alcohol, according to NH Nieuws. 

Witnesses told AD that the red Renault Clio covered a distance of about 30 meters. "We were in the gym when we suddenly heard a lot of noise behind us. A huge bang, as if a very heavy object fell on the ground," one parent said. "At first the children sat calmly, but as it became clear what was going on, they started to get restless. They are very shocked at what happened in their school. My child also struggled with it. They thought they were going to have a nice farewell evening."

Parents went to the entrance of the school to see what happened. "We found enormous havoc. Glassware was everywhere. The driver was on the ground in the middle of the square. An officer had already overpowered him," a parent said to the newspaper. 

School director Jan van Berkum told NH Nieuws that there was no major conflict between the school and the parent. "There was an underlying problem related to one of his children attending school here. That makes some parents look for other means to solve a problem. But there was no conflict."

The school on Verlende Raadhuislaan was evacuated and cordoned off for investigation. The present pupils, teachers and parents received support in an adjacent school building.

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