Nijmegen Marches called off as two die in heat
19 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — The ninetieth edition of the international Nijmegen Marches event was called off on Tuesday evening following the death of two walkers in the tropical heat.
19 July 2006
AMSTERDAM — The ninetieth edition of the international Nijmegen Marches event was called off on Tuesday evening following the death of two walkers in the tropical heat.
A third person was in critical condition in hospital and two others had to be resuscitated. They are now out of danger.
The organisers of the four-day event decided to cancel it after discussions with Nijmegen Mayor Guusje ter Horst and the medical services. "Worse conditions are expected for Wednesday and as such it would be irresponsible to continue," Ter Horst said.
Weather service KNMI confirmed on Wedensday morning that the country was experiencing its second heatwave of the year. The first one was at the beginning of July.
Medical assistance to the 48,000 registered participants could not be sufficiently guaranteed over the coming days, the March committee said. The emergency services were already stretched to the limit on Tuesday.
A handful of die-hard walkers turned up on Wednesday for the next stage of the Marches but they were outnumbered by journalists. Some local media outlets criticised the decision to cancel the event.
There were over 300 reports of walkers or onlookers becoming unwell because of the heat on Tuesday. Thirty people were admitted to hospital.
Many spectators stood in the heat for hours to encourage the marchers. By 2pm, the temperature just above the ground had risen to 42 degrees, March leader Wim Jansen said.
The last time the heat claimed lives during the Nijmegen Marches was in 1972 when two people died.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news