Several injured in Amsterdam stampede

4th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Several people were injured in a stampede Tuesday at a World War II commemoration in Amsterdam after which two men were arrested, media reports said.

The NOS public broadcaster showed footage of crowds scattering in panic, screaming as they fled from an unidentifiable threat on the Dam square during a two-minute moment of silence observed from 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) at the annual commemoration of the dead.

Queen Beatrix and members of her family were shown being hustled to safety as police tried to restore order and emergency staff assisted the injured.

The broadcaster reported that dozens of people were hurt, many suffering broken bones as they were pushed into barricades.

The ceremony, however, continued after a short interlude with a public announcement that: "Someone has fallen ill and is being treated".

The NOS quoted Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende as saying that someone had deliberately attempted to disrupt the ceremony, held on the eve of the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation.

Amsterdam police were not available for comment.

Dutch news agency ANP reported that two men were arrested. One had started shouting during the moment of silence, whereupon the other dropped a suitcase in the crowd, it said.

Security at the event was tight, prompted by a failed attack on the royal family during annual Queen's Day celebrations last year.

Beatrix and members of her entourage watched on in horror a year ago as a man rammed his car into festival-goers, killing seven bystanders.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article