Multiple people killed after truck runs off the road; Several trapped, driver unharmed
This story was updated with new information
Several people were killed when a lorry drove off a dike and crashed into a neighborhood party in Nieuw-Beijerland, Zuid-Holland on Saturday evening. Hours after the crash, it was not clear how many people had died while workers tried to clear the wreckage.
In addition to the fatalities, multiple people were injured and taken to a hospital. The driver was unharmed and was brought in for questioning.
There were still deceased people trapped underneath the truck, as authorities were still trying to process the crash site. A police spokesperson said it was certain more than two people died, but they could not give precise numbers of fatalities or injuries. She said she wanted to be certain of exact numbers before saying anything further.
A crime scene was established and cordoned off to investigate what exactly happened at the scene of the accident in the hamlet of Zuidzijde in Nieuw-Beijerland. The vehicle involved was seized for technical examination. Police have yet to say anything about the cause of the crash.
A spokesperson said the accident has deeply affected the community, where "many attendees know each other."
Several ambulances and trauma helicopters were deployed to handle the victims of the serious accident. It happened on the Zuidzijdsedijk. Immediately after the accident, police said they are "utilizing a lot of emergency workers in the incident.” The investigation into the cause of the incident is underway. Emergency services workers were still busy at the scene at 8 p.m.
There was a great deal of shock and dismay among those at the incident. Those present at the neighborhood party, other eyewitnesses and local residents will be taken care of by the municipality.
At the site of the accident, a large amount of damage is visible, including picnic tables, bottles, and food that were knocked over. Fences are now being placed around the truck, which has a Spanish license plate number, to secure the truck and to possibly deal with more victims in privacy. A crane truck has also been called in to assist workers.
Charlie Aptroot, the mayor of Hoeksche Waard, commented about the accident after speaking with relatives of the victims and others involved in the “horrible accident in such a small, tight-knit community as Nieuw-Beijerland.” He said family members and neighbors were crushed, partly because the condition of the injured people is not known and there is much uncertainty. “Our greatest concern is with the people involved,” he said.
Nieuw-Beijerland is part of the municipality of Hoeksche Waard in Zuid-Holland.
Reporting by ANP