Leiden-The Hague train services cancelled until at least April 11
Three of those injured in Monday night’s train crash when a passenger and goods train ploughed into construction work are seriously ill in intensive care, broadcaster NOS said on Tuesday evening.
Their condition is described as ‘extremely serious but stable’ and all three have undergone operations.
In total 19 people were taken to several hospitals in the region in the aftermath of the crash, which killed one man, a construction worker for BAM. Most of those who were hospitalised have since been allowed home.
NS officials say there will be no trains between Leiden and The Hague until at least April 11 while investigators try to work out what happened and repairs to the track are carried out. Instead buses will be brought in on the busy route between the two cities.
The NS Intercity train derailed in the crash in the village of Voorschoten which happened at around 3.30am on Tuesday, minutes after a passing goods train hit the crane. Two of the four carriages careered down an embankment and landed in a field, while a third was left teetering over the embankment.
Work has begun on clearing up the lime spilled by the goods train but the four carriages of the passenger train will remain in situ while the police, transport ministry inspectors and the public prosecution department carry out their investigations.
Construction company BAM was carrying out scheduled maintenance work on rail lines running parallel to the line on which the trains were travelling when the accident happened.
The safety council will lead the investigation into the crash. Police said they would also assess if there was any basis for bringing criminal charges and report their findings to the prosecution service.
The director of NS, Wouter Koolmees, said the incident would be investigated thoroughly. ‘Like everybody else I have a lot of questions and we want to know exactly what happened,’ he said.
Koolmees also thanked local residents who sheltered victims of the crash in the immediate aftermath.
ProRail CEO John Foppen said the crane was being used on two rail lines that were closed for scheduled maintenance work, parallel to the lines the trains were travelling on.
The investigation will focus on how the crane came to be on an active line, Foppen said. ‘I’ve worked on the rails for 17 years and never seen anything like this.’
Four years ago an NS train collided with a crane on the track outside Prinsenbeek station, on the high-speed line near Breda. Nobody was injured, but all 250 passengers had to be transferred to another train to Rotterdam.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation