2006 ends in good spirits despite violence
2 January 2007, AMSTERDAM — Despite several serious incidents, the Netherlands celebrated New Year's Eve in a relatively peaceful fashion on Sunday night.
2 January 2007
AMSTERDAM — Despite several serious incidents, the Netherlands celebrated New Year's Eve in a relatively peaceful fashion on Sunday night.
A 36-year-old Barendrecht man died shortly after midnight in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht when 'fireworks' exploded in his face.
Police suspect that the device was a mortar shell. Witnesses to the accident were offered victim assistance support.
Fireworks were the cause of a blaze in a home on the Merellaan in Maassluis in which a 90-year-old woman was killed.
The victim died from asphyxiation, while her 91-year-old husband was treated for smoke inhalation.
Police arrested one man on charges he started the blaze.
In Limburg, a 38-year-old man was seriously injured when 21kg of fireworks exploded in his face. The man tried to light the fireworks with a cigarette.
After several operations, however, the man was reported to be out of a life threatening condition.
In Vaesrade in southern Limburg, a man was seriously hurt when a fireworks rocket exploded in his face. He suffered broken bones and burns injuries.
A 26-year-old resident of Nunspeet who initially thought he had been injured by fireworks later appeared to have been injured by a bullet. Police have no idea where the bullet was fired from.
Despite the fact that police reported a fairly peaceful New Year's night, a relatively large amount of violence was directed at emergency services personnel.
Police used dogs in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht to quell drunken youths after a window of a fire truck was smashed earlier in the night.
In Dordrecht, youths pelted loose objects at fire brigade officers. Personnel were also hindered during fire fighting operations elsewhere in the city and police called in to end the disturbance.
Riot police cleared the Oranjeplein in Puttershoek after youths threw stones and fireworks at officers.
Some 70 riot police officers clashed with 70 youths in Nieuwerkerk aan den Ijssel. Revellers also threw stones and fireworks at police and fire brigade officers in Voorschoten and in Leiden.
In Rijnwoude, the facade of a police station was destroyed. An official with the Hollands Midden police corps also said in some cases, ambulance staff could only operate with police protection.
Two large fires broke out on Sunday night, one in Zoutkamp in Groningen and the other in the Leeuwarden city centre. In the latter blaze, several premises were engulfed in flames, leading to millions of euros in damage.
Some 1,500 people at a nightclub in Raalte in Overijssel escaped unharmed after a fire broke out.
And in many regions around the country, a greater amount of vandalism than normal was reported.
A large amount of vandalism was particularly reported in Noord-Holland and the south of Zuid-Holland. Bus shelters and street signs were popular 'targets'.
But despite the long list of incidents, most police officials said it was a relatively peaceful end to the year.
That same message also came from The Hague, where 50 cars were torched and 150 people arrested.
No extreme problems were reported in Drenthe, Flevoland, Noord-Brabant or Zeeland. In Limburg, it was "relaxed and friendly", a police officer said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news