Friday, May 1, 2009

drama at Queensday in The Netherlands (updated may 1 -16.16)

april 30 2009

Queensday is for us one of the highlights of the year.
All over The Netherlands festivities are held: open air concerts,traditional games, music performances etc etc. And children (and grown ups at some cities) sell their old stuff at socalled free markets.
The Queen and her family usually visits two cities in the country to take part in the festivities, but this year she was at just one place: Apeldoorn.
It's the 100rds birthday of our former Queen: Queen Juliana, and an exposition would be opened by the Queen.
Like during the reign of Queen Juliana she would be honored by a parade past the palace.

The girls had a pyjama party with some friends last night, at a friend's house.
My autistic son was all over the place, because he felt left out.
We had a terrible evening.

This morning he was caught in the joy of Queensday and wanted to go to the free market to, to find some Wii stuff, computer games, statues of cats (he collects them) etc etc.
He went with his father and I was watching the parade on TV.

First the Queen visited the open air activities. Tasting things, talking with people. The princes and princesses took part in the games.
It was fun.
The weather was perfect.

My son and his dad came home.
My son was agitated because he couldn't find games at the free market.
We ate some special Queensday cake and it was decided they would go to the main free market of town.

I sat down to drink a cup of coffee and just decided to go upstairs when the camera on TV caught a car driving from the crowds, nearly hitting a bicycle cop and crashing into a monument. The royal bus had just passed.



I was shocked.
Then realized the front of the car was a mess already before it hit the monument.

At first I thought it belonged to the parade. I'd seen in the old car presentation a fire engine, but no ambulance, so I waited for the old fashioned ambulance.

But then I saw at least 3 people being resuscitated.

It seemed the car changed course to hit the monument, but it was on course to where the bus was just a moment ago.




Many members of the royal family were standing in the bus, shocked.

Lots of people were lying injured on the street.
Help was available immediately.
Resuscitations started.
People were running around, disoriented and frightened.

Right now, 4 people have died.

The Queen appeared on TV expressing her grief about those who died and expressed how much her heart goes out to the families.
Many people were touched by the way she looked.

Festivities are ending at many places.

The suspect is in surgery.
He´s a 38 year old man.
Before he drove into the crowds, he had been at the gates wanting to go in, but the police didn´t let him. It´s told he said certain things that gave the impression this was a conscious attack.

13 people are wounded. 5 seriously.
According to the police it was not a terrorist attack.


We all feel very sad here.
The day started so happy....


update:

3 of the injured are children.
Among the injured people from a special needs band.

Prime minister came home from abroad.

Suspect has declaired he wanted to attack the royal family.

He's braindead. It's not officially confirmed yet.

In some cities the festivities are going on.
To stop them would cause problems, like in Amsterdam, where 600.000 people are attending Queensday.
Many artists have decided not to perform, at other places one or two minutes of silence are held in respect for the victims.

Update

The suspect died this night.
(We call him suspect, because by law a person is a suspect until he's convicted by court)

The whole country feels down.
In Apeldoorn people are visiting the place where so many people were injured and traumatised.
More than 18.000 people expressed their feelings in a condolence book online, and people are writing in the condolence book in Apeldoorn and in the online condolence book of Apeldoorn.

For the first time in three years, when different people came to live in our neighbourhood, it's silent here. Just an occasional call of a child can be heard.
Almost no one is sitting outside, not even now the weather is perfect.

I've had questions from Dutch friends abroad about the text of the speech of the Queen. It can be found here.

Someone asked when the suspect declared he intentionally drove towards the royal bus.
That was when he was lying down, already wrapped for transport, just before he was moved into the ambulance.

update:

Another person has died.

Any updates will appear on this blog.
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6 comments:

  1. oooo my that's terrible news.
    and to think queensday is usually such a festive affair.

    probably he won't survive. but hopefully the others will.

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  2. What a terrible day!

    We were moved by the queen as well. She looked so petite.

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  3. Terrible news! It's shocking.

    At the time it happened I was in Belgium (picking up our wedding rings) but when I saw the pictures and video's at the news I couldn't believe that this was happing in The Netherlands, and on Queensday!

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  4. How horrific. It is sad to say but I would not be so shocked if this had happened here in the U.S. I was so surprised to learn of this on the news. Hopefully there will be no more deaths due to this tragic event and thankfully your royal family was not injured.

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  5. Well, we're here in The Netherlands.
    You don't have a royal family, do you?

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  6. Hope all goes well this weekend.
    Have fun and rest too :):)

    ReplyDelete

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