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Dozens injured in Amsterdam train crash

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-22

Two trains collided head on just outside the Netherland’s capital Amsterdam on Saturday, leaving dozens injured, at least 15 of them seriously, according to Dutch transportation authorities.

AFP - At least 60 people were injured, up to 20 of them seriously, after two trains collided head-on Saturday just outside Amsterdam, Dutch transport police said.

"There are 60 people injured -- some 15 to 20 badly," police spokesman Ed Kraszewski told AFP, after the crash near Sloterdijk in the western suburbs of Amsterdam, but he added "I can't give exact figures."

A spokeswoman for the Dutch capital's fire service put the number of seriously injured at 56, adding "tens-of-others were slightly wounded."

The accident happened at around 6.30 pm (1630 GMT) when a local train leaving Amsterdam hit a high-speed train, Dutch rail network Prorail spokeswoman Babet Verstappen told AFP.

Emergency personnel were treating the wounded at the scene, on a bridge between Sloterdijk and Amsterdam Central Station, Verstappen added.

"The badly injured are being taken to hospitals, while those with slight injuries were taken to a hotel in Amsterdam," she said.

Dutch news agency ANP reported many of the injured suffered from broken bones and bruising, while witnesses said they heard a long hoot from one of the trains before the crash.

Passengers on the social network Twitter said they were "smashed against the trains' frames" or "thrown from their seats", it added.

Pictures from the scene showed the crushed front ends of both the trains.

"Some of the injured had to be rescued from inside the train," added Amsterdam fire service spokeswoman Elke van den Hout.

By late Saturday evening, all the injured had been rescued from the trains, which remained on the tracks, railway police spokesman Kraszewski said.

The cause of the accident remained unknown, but police have launched an investigation, he added.

The crash has disrupted rail traffic to Amsterdam Central station, as well as to Schiphol airport, Prorail's Verstappen said. Bus services were being laid on to try to get passengers to their destinations.

The Netherlands' worst train disaster happened on January 8, 1962, when two passenger trains smashed into one another at Harmelen, near the central Dutch city of Utrecht, killing 93 and injuring 52 others.

Earlier this year, a monument was unveiled to mark the 50-year anniversary of the accident which happened in thick fog when a train driver missed a warning signal and the two trains also crashed head-on.

Date created : 2012-04-21

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