VOORSCHOTEN, Netherlands AP : A train derails near The Hague in the early hours of Tuesday, sending two carriages into a field next to the tracks, Dutch emergency services said. One person died and 30 others were seriously injured, many of whom were seriously injured.
Television images showed people using makeshift bridges and ladders to cross a narrow drainage canal that runs alongside the rails to reach the stricken train in the dark. Many windows in the train carriages were broken. It was not clear if that happened during the accident or as passengers tried to escape.
Two of the bright yellow and blue train carriages came to rest perpendicular to the tracks across the small canal and partially in a field. What appeared to be the front of the train was badly damaged. Other parts of the train were partially derailed.
At the time of the crash, the four-carriage passenger train carried about 50 passengers.
A freight train was stopped on the rails close to the wreckage of the passenger train near the rails between the cities of Leiden and The Hague.
The exact cause of the accident, which happened around 3: 25 a.m. at 0125 GMT in the town of Voorschoten, near The Hague, was not immediately clear.
Railway company NS said in a statement that a passenger train, a freight train and a construction crane were involved in a collision, but the company didn't give any further details.
Like everyone else, I am full of questions and we want to know exactly what happened, NS CEO Wouter Koolmees said in a statement. A thorough investigation must be carried out. We are focused on the well-being of our travelers and colleagues at the moment. The regional coordinator of emergency services said that 11 of the injured passengers were treated in homes near the line, and others were transported in a fleet of ambulances to hospitals, including a calamity hospital in the central city of Utrecht.
The local fire brigade said after the crash that it appeared to be a collision between a passenger train and building material. A train accident near Voorschoten killed one person and injured many others. My thoughts are with the relatives and all the victims. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said in a tweet that they wish them all the best.
Dutch king Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima expressed their sympathy in a tweet.
Ingrid de Roos, a spokeswoman for local fire services, told news agency WNL that a small fire broke out at the rear of the train but was quickly extinguished.
John Voppen, CEO of Pro Rail, called the accident a black day for Dutch railways and said the cause was under investigation.