Family of Utrecht tram attack victim blames bus company, provincial officials
Relatives hold the carrier and the province responsible for the Utrecht tram attack
Relatives of Rinke Terpstra, who died during the terrorist attack on a tram in Utrecht, are holding the public transport company Qbuzz and the province of Utrecht jointly responsible for his death. Axel Beijersbergen van Henegouwen, the lawyer representing the relatives, confirmed this after a report by the Volkskrant.
During the attack on March 18, 2019, Gökmen T. shot inside a tram and around the vehicle on the 24 Oktoberplein, killing four people and injuring many others. Due to the tram driver's decision to keep the doors closed during the attack, the passengers inside the tram were unable to flee when Gökmen T. opened fire.
Beijersbergen van Henergouwen believes that Terpstra's death could have been prevented. By keeping the doors closed, the death of Rinke Terpstra is “the result of a circumstance that the carrier could have avoided, or the consequences of which the company could have prevented,” the lawyer said.
According to the lawyer, there are multiple factors contributing to the province and transportation company being held jointly accountable for the attack four years after it occurred. "This has, among other things, to do with the fact that we first tried to reach an agreement with Qbuzz, but they redirected responsibility to the province. The province is the lessor of the trams. Beijersbergen van Henegouwen pointed out that the statute of limitations for this case has not yet expired.
The Volkskrant did not receive a comment on the specifics of the case from Qbuzz, but the company's lawyer dismissed the Terpstra family's allegations as a "one-sided presentation of the facts.” The province of Utrecht also declined to provide a comment to the newspaper, saying that the case is still in court.
The attack was commemorated on Saturday. Relatives, aid workers, witnesses, Utrecht Mayor Sharon Dijksma, members of the city council, and Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgöz attended the ceremony.
Reporting by ANP