New Year festivities ‘relatively peaceful’, major fires in Alkmaar and Uden

OUDEJAARSFEEST  VUURWERKSHOW IN AMSTERDAMThe New Year celebrations passed off relatively peacefully and many police and fire services say they were no busier than normal during the festivities, news agency ANP reported on Thursday.

Two people died in traffic accidents and in Rotterdam a man drowned after falling into the water. Police are investigating that incident.

There was a major fire in the centre of Alkmaar which destroyed six city centre houses and led to 64 people being evacuated. Two primary schools in Uden also went up in flames.

Eye injuries

Ten people have so far been treated in Rotterdam’s specialist eye hospital and seven will either be blind or have permanent eye damage, broadcaster Nos said.

Riot police were called in to break up trouble in two parts of Nijmegen, in Utrecht and in Culemborg, where there were ‘several injuries’. At least eight cars were also set on fire in Utrecht. There were further car fires in Baarn, Amersfoort, Almere, Kruiningen, Schiedam and Rotterdam, the Volkskrant said.

In Millingen aan den Rijn, two people were injured by a firework bomb and in Nieuwkoop, a four-year-old girl was taken to hospital after being hit by a firework. She is said to be in a serious condition.

In Rotterdam a 13-year-old boy was hospitalised with severe injuries to his hand after a firework he picked up exploded. A man in Capelle aan den IJssel received facial injuries after a ‘heavy’ firework went off.

The traditional firework show on the port city’s Erasmus bridge attracted 40,000 spectators.


There were no major incidents in Amsterdam, where people described the atmosphere as relaxed. Some 10,000 people watched a city council firework display close to the maritime museum.

A jogger out running on Thursday morning found a body in the water near the eastern dock area. It is not that of the missing Norwegian tourist, the Parool reported.

In The Hague at least four cars were set on fire. In another incident in the city, an invalid man is in a serious condition after a fire at his home. In Tilburg, a baby was rescued from a burning house.

Eight homes were evacuated in the village of Dirksland on Goerree-Overflakkee in Zeeland after a fire at a nearby warehouse.

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