One dead, several injured in Dutch rail accident
An accident involving a DB Cargo Nederland freight train and an NS passenger train resulted in one death and several injuries in Vooschoten, in the western Netherlands. Drivers from both trains were taken to the hospital. The freight train’s driver is not harmed, while the passenger train’s driver suffers bone fractures. The victim is an employee of Dutch construction company BAM.
The accident occurred around 3:30 am on Tuesday, 4 April. “Train 47612 from Kijfhoek to Beverwijk collided with a vehicle near Voorschoten”, DB Cargo Nederland confirmed. Both the locomotive and the 26 wagons making up the convoy were damaged but did not derail. Some of the injured are in bad shape with 19 people being transferred to the hospital.
A spokesperson from DB Cargo Nederland also confirmed that the dynamic of the accident is not clear as of yet, but reports from NOS state that both trains collided with a crane. The crane in question belonged to BAM, which was carrying out construction work on the track section where the accident took place.
Criminal investigation underway
An investigation is being launched into the train accident under the leadership of the Public Prosecution Service. In addition, during a press conference, the Dutch authorities mentioned that they will also examine whether criminal offences have been committed. The cause of the accident is not yet clear and is being investigated, including by the Dutch Safety Board (OVV), the ILT (Environment and Transport Inspectorate) and the police. ProRail itself also started an investigation
Hans Zuidijk of the Hollands Midden Safety Region says it was dark, which caused a chaotic situation immediately after the train accident. “The overhead line was broken. There was a fire and a ditch had to be crossed to get to the location.” Because the overhead line had broken, the situation had to be secured first. “All emergency services were on site within an hour,” said the spokesman.
As reported by NOS, two of the carriages of the passenger train fell over and are lying next to the tracks, while one caught fire and has already been put out. Director of rail infrastructure manager ProRail John Voppen called this Tuesday 4 April “a black day for the Dutch railways”. “My thoughts are with everyone involved. We will of course investigate how this could have happened”. Italy, via its Ministry of Transport Matteo Salvini, claimed that the country is ready to provide support to the Netherlands in the aftermath of this accident. What is certain, for now, is that the damage to the track is so great that no trains will run between Leiden and The Hague in the coming days.