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The Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander visits site of deadly train crash

willem alexander

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands travelled to Voorschoten to visit the site of the deadly crash that involved two trains and a crane. 

His Majesty arrived on site on the morning of 4 April, just a few hours after the crash took place, at roughly 3:25 am local time. 

According to the first accounts, both the passenger train and the goods train collided with a crane used for repairs on two of the four rail tracks in that segment. The passenger train collided with the crane first, splitting in half; one coach slid down a nearby grass slope, taking down one of the power lines. 

One person is dead, a worker and 19 people are in hospital. However, the exact number of injuries is unknown, seeing that several of the passengers with minor injuries have been taken in and helped by locals, who flocked to the nearby station to lend a hand. 

During his visit, King Willem-Alexander was accompanied by the Secretary of Infrastructure and Water Management, Vivianne Heijnen, and the Mayor of Voorschoten, Nadine Stemerdink. The two of them managed to visit the site of the crash and also speak with some of the people directly involved, including aid workers, representatives of some of the entities involved, local residents, and some of the passengers. 

The Head of ProRail, the government’s network body, told the press that he is 100% sure that the crane was not on the tracks being used by trains, although he could not explain how the accident happened. “I have been working in the rail industry for years, and I don’t understand how this could have happened,” he told the press. 

Mayor Stemerdink expressed her sadness: “This is an incredibly tragic accident. We regret there was also a fatality. My thoughts go out to all the family and friends of those involved.”

This was a sentiment echoed in the statement issued by the Royal House of the Netherlands shortly after the accident: “Our thoughts are with the victims of the train accident at Voorschoten and their families. Many are now in fear and uncertainty. We deeply sympathise with all of them.”