Drenthe police officers did not jump into a rural canal to rescue a family of four who were trapped in a car because it would have risked their own safety, a spokesman has told the Telegraaf.
All four occupants were killed when the car towing a trailer left the road and ploughed into the water at Stieltjeskanaal on Saturday.
Police were quick to reach the scene but did not attempt to get the family out, leading to criticism from bystanders, the Telegraaf said on Monday.
‘The officers discussed with the emergency service operator whether they should go into the canal and were told not to,’ a spokesman said.
The guidelines state that if the vehicle is completely submerged, then police should not enter the water, the spokesman said. ‘In addition, they did not have the right equipment and had to wait for the diving team.’
65-year-old John Mannessen, his son Marco (44), son’s heavily pregnant girlfriend Sukanya Khongnam (34) and their two-year-old son Sky were killed in the incident. No cause has yet been established.
According to the Telegraaf, the family had only recently moved to the village and wanted to make a new start. They were currently working on renovating their new home.
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