One person died and some 30 passengers were injured, many of them seriously, when a train partially derailed near The Hague in the early hours of Tuesday, sending at least one carriage into a field next to the tracks, Dutch emergency services said.
Television images showed one of the people using makeshift bridges to cross a canal running alongside the rails to reach the stricken train in the darkness. Many windows in the train carriages were broken. It was not clear if that happened during the accident or as passengers attempted to escape.
Injured passengers were treated in homes near the rails and transported in a fleet of ambulances to hospitals, including a “calamity hospital” opened in the central city of Utrecht.
The cause of the accident that happened around 3:25 a.m. (0125 GMT) in the town of Voorschoten, near The Hague, was not immediately clear. Dutch media reported that there was a small construction crane on the tracks, but authorities did not immediately confirm that.
“This is an incredibly tragic accident. I sympathize with the victims. Unfortunately, there is also a fatality to mourn. My thoughts go out to all the family and friends of those involved,” Voorschoten Mayor Nadine Stemerdink said in a statement.
Ingrid de Roos, a spokeswoman for local fire services, told news show WNL that a small fire broke out at the rear of the train but was quickly extinguished.
John Voppen, CEO of the rail network company Pro Rail, called the accident "a black day for Dutch railways and said the cause was under investigation.(