Two boys killed in New Year fireworks explosions
Two boys were killed and dozens of others injured in illegal fireworks explosions on New Year's Eve.
A home-made bomb left a 17-year old in the northern village of Boerakker with serious head injuries. The boy died in hospital on Saturday morning.
In the eastern town of Hardewijk, a 13-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after being hit by illegal fireworks on a campsite. He too died shortly afterwards. Police are hunting down the man who set off the device.
On the whole, the authorities say New Year celebrations passed off relatively peacefully. Minor incidents were reported in the big cities, though.
In The Hague, for instance, two police officers were injured in clashes with youths throwing fireworks. Forty cars were set on fire, almost double the number from last year. Several arrests were made.
In Amsterdam, around 50 people were arrested, mainly for public disorder offences. Firemen in the capital put out nearly 200 fires in underground waste bins, considerably more than last year too.
In Rotterdam, a bakery went up in flames and several adjacent homes were evacuated. A fire gutted a farm in Friesland and killed dozens of cows.
Relatively few traffic accidents were reported, despite the heavy fog in several central and southern provinces. Low visibility due to fog is blamed for the comparatively moderate fireworks sales this year.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide