One dead, dozens injured in Dutch rail accident

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At least one person died and 30 were injured early Tuesday when a high-speed passenger train slammed into heavy construction equipment and derailed near The Hague, Dutch emergency services said.

The accident took place around 3:30 am (0130 GMT) close to the village of Voorschoten, about eight kilometres (five miles) north of The Hague.

The double decker train was travelling between Amsterdam and The Hague and was carrying some 60 people.

“One person has died and at least 30 people have been injured. The seriously injured are being taken to hospital, while 11 are at homes of nearby residents,” Hollands Midden emergency services said.

“Specialists are working to secure the train.”

Images from the scene and news reports showed a front carriage which landed on a field, while a second carriage flipped on its side.

One carriage was suspended over a small ditch with water. A third carriage remained upright, while a fourth caught fire, the ANP news agency said.

Services on the busy link, used by trains running from Amsterdam to Brussels and Paris have been halted and will not resume until the afternoon, rail officials said.

Several ambulances and a helicopter were deployed to take seriously injured passengers to hospital.

“We heard a loud bang and suddenly the lights went out,” an unidentified witness told the local Omroep West television news.

“We couldn’t initially get out of the train because there was no electricity,” said the man, who appeared in a state of shock.

“Eventually we got after what felt like hours,” the man added.

The Netherland’s worst train disaster happened on January 8, 1962, when two passenger trains crashed at Harmelen, near the central city of Utrecht, killing 93 people and injuring 52 others.

That accident occurred in thick fog when a train driver missed a warning signal and the two trains hit head-on.

One person was killed and six others were injured when a train collided with a hydraulic crane in central Netherlands in 2016.

Another person died and 117 others were injured in a collision near Amsterdam in April 2012 with reports later saying a driver failed to respect a stop sign.

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