European RoyalsThe Netherlands

Queen Máxima: “There are no words” after four children are killed in a train accident

Queen Máxima had just arrived in Friesland in the north of the Netherlands today for a happy occasion when news reached the Queen that a terrible accident had taken place in Oss, in the south of the Netherlands. Four children were killed, and one child and one adult were seriously injured when the electric carrier cycle they were travelling on was hit by a train on a crossing. The ANP news agency said the accident occurred at about 8.25am on Thursday as the woman was taking the five children, aged between four and 11, from a before-school daycare centre where she worked to local primary schools. Witnesses told the Brabants Dagblad newspaper that the barriers on the level crossing had been lowered, but the front carrier box of the bike had passed underneath it.

Speaking to the waiting press, Queen Máxima said, “Today I am in Friesland to see very happy children making music and even more music in the future. But our thoughts are with the families who have lost their children in this terrible accident in Oss today. My husband and I feel for the families, and there are no words for this. So terrible.”

Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted, “Deeply touched by this very sad news from Oss where four young children were killed in an awful accident. I wish all those involved much strength to bear this heavy loss.”

Roger van Boxtel, the chief executive of Dutch Railways, tweeted: “How terrible, this dramatic accident in Oss. Our thoughts are with the victims, their relatives and friends, the wounded and with the travellers and our colleagues who were there. What grief.”

The train service was suspended on the line while the National Accident Investigation United carried out their investigation.