- Category: News
- Created on Monday, 23 April 2012 11:17
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
The head-on collision on Saturday evening on a stretch of line between Centraal Station and Sloterdijk left 125 people injured, 42 of them seriously.
Volkskrant journalist Hein Janssen, who was sitting in the Sprinter train travelling from Amsterdam to Uitgeest, said the driver came into the carriage moments before the crash and told the passengers she had just driven through a red light.
‘She looked around, slightly confused, and then started talking. I fear I’ve missed a red signal, she said. We were too astonished to reply,’ Janssen told the newspaper.
‘Suddenly the train braked sharply and a few seconds later there was an enormous bang. We were flung from our seats, glass flew around us and there was a shriek from behind.’
The local train service had just pulled out of Sloterdijk station when it collided with an Intercity train heading the other way at about 6pm. Eyewitnesses said neither of the trains was travelling fast at the time.
Emergency services arrived on the scene within eight minutes, including ambulance personnel, fire crews and members of the Dutch Red Cross.
Most victims were taken to the Vrije Universiteit medical centre, although a number were transferred to other hospitals. The 68-year-old woman, who was from the east of the country, died in hospital on Sunday.
Amsterdam’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan, who visited the scene on Saturday, said: ‘Our thoughts go out to the family of the woman for whom the train accident proved fatal. I wish all those who were lightly or seriously injured a speedy recovery.’
In a letter to Parliament, infrastructure minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen said the likely cause of the accident was that the Sprinter train ‘passed a sign showing stop’.
Her letter was based on an initial report by accident investigators. Further inspections will take place over the next few days to confirm the exact cause of the crash.
The Dutch train operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen said services were back to normal on Monday morning after the accident led to delays and cancellations on the western side of Amsterdam over the weekend.