External investigation into stairs collapse

7th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

UPDATED 7 August 2006, AMSTERDAM — Utrecht City Council has hired outside experts to investigate the collapse of a wooden canal stairs during a concert on Sunday night, Mayor Annie Brouwer told a press conference on Monday.

UPDATED 7 August 2006

AMSTERDAM — Utrecht City Council has hired outside experts to investigate the collapse of a wooden canal stairs during a concert on Sunday night, Mayor Annie Brouwer told a press conference on Monday.

Seven people injured in the accident were still in hospitals in the city on Monday afternoon. One person was said to be in critical condition.

Several others sustained lesser injuries and were treated at the scene or as outpatients in local hospitals.

The accident happened at about 9.45pm next during a concert by the band 'Zuco' to mark the end of a musical boat parade. There were people standing on or under the bridge to listen to the music.

The stairs, and several like it along the Oude Gracht (Old Canal), provides a permanent connection between the street and the picturesque lower-lying wharf.

Some of the people seriously injured were in a boat on the water. They were struck by the falling debris. Some of the people on the stairs also fell into the water. Fire Brigade drivers carried out a search to make sure no one had drowned.

Police said they did not receive any reports of missing persons in the hours after the accident.

The organisers of the musical event said there were six to seven hundred people in and around the canal.

Eyewitnesses said there was no major panic. No screams were heard either when the stairs collapsed as the music was very loud.

Dozens of police officers, Fire Brigade and Ambulance personnel were quickly on the scene to render assistance to the injured. The area was sealed off and technical experts began an investigation into the cause of the collapse.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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