Queen's Day attack death toll rises

2nd May 2009, Comments 0 comments

A seventh person has died as a result of the car attack during the Queen's Day celebrations in Apeldoorn.

APELDOORN - A seventh person has died as a result of the car attack during the Queen's Day celebrations in Apeldoorn. A 55-year-old military policeman, who was working as a driver, died of his injuries in hospital on Friday afternoon.

Another woman is said to be in a critical condition. The conditions of the other eight people still in hospital is reportedly stable. Among them are three children.

On Friday morning it was announced that the man who deliberately drove his car at speed through the crowd of spectators had died in hospital during the night. He was named as Karst Tates, an unemployed security guard from Huissen, a village near Arnhem in the east of the Netherlands. His neighbours say he was made redundant a few months ago. They describe him as a quiet, withdrawn person. His motive for carrying out the attack remains a mystery.

On Thursday the public prosecutor said the man told police that his attack was aimed at the royal family. The public prosecutor ruled out any terrorist motive and the authorities believe the man was acting alone.

About 250 detectives are involved in the investigation into the incident. The police have received more than 750 tips so far. Witnesses to the incident have uploaded 165 photographs and about 10 videos to a special justice ministry website. The police are still urgently looking for photographs of the black car just before it ploughed into the spectators.

The mayor of Apeldoorn, Fred de Graaf, has announced that an investigation will be launched into the security provisions surrounding the royal visit.

After Thursday's tragedy Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said it was too early to speculate about future Queen's Day celebrations. After meeting Queen Beatrix and other members of the royal family in Apeldoorn, the prime minister called for serious reflection.

In a televised address, the queen, visibly shocked, offered sympathy to the victims and their relatives. Prime Minister Balkenende expressed "deep shock at the horrible event" and travelled to Apeldoorn.

Most Queen's Day celebrations across the country were cancelled. In the capital Amsterdam, where some 600,000 people were partying, and a few other towns, festivities went ahead but were toned down.

Flags were lowered to half-mast at the palace and all government buildings.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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