20 injured as trains collide head on at Amsterdam CS
21 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — Twenty people were injured as an intercity train collided head on with a stationary train at about 6.30pm at Amsterdam Central Station on Friday evening. Two of the injured victims had to be cut free from the wreckage.
By 8.30pm, rescue workers were continuing to search the front of one of the trains and could not confirm if there were dead or injured in the wreckage. It has since been confirmed by police that no one was killed in the accident.
But the fire service was forced to use cutting equipment to free two passengers who were seriously injured. The last injured passenger, a woman, was freed about five hours after the accident.
Two trauma helicopters and several ambulances were called in to take some of the injured to hospital, but the police did not confirm early reports of two fatalities. Instead, it was confirmed that two people were seriously injured.
The cause of the accident remains unclear. But television pictures show the front of the intercity train — which was coming from Utrecht on the way to Haarlem — ended up on top of its engine. The stationary double-decker did not have any passengers on board at the time.
Both drivers survived the crash, but one of them was slightly injured in the accident, Dutch public news service NOS reported.
The station has been cleared and sealed off. All train travel to and from Amsterdam Central has been halted. Prins Hendrikkade — the main road directly in front of the station — has also been closed off.
Dutch rail operator NS was advising commuters to avoid Amsterdam as much as possible. Train travellers in the city can use the metro, tram and bus, rail network authority ProRail said.
The authorities have set up a special telephone number for worried relatives and friends seeking information about the victims. The number is 0800 0540.
The railway division of the Transport Ministry and the Council for Transport Safety have launched investigations into the accident, NOS reported.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + Amsterdam train crash