Carnaval celebrations muted in Ter Apel after crash

Carnaval celebrations in the Groningen town of Ter Apel were halted at the weekend after a car ploughed into the procession of floats, killing a 33-year-old woman.

Five people were injured in Saturday’s accident, including the two people in the car. The driver is thought to have lost control of the vehicle after ‘becoming unwell’, Dutch media reported.

‘We regret the decision but it is the only right one to take out of respect for the victim and her family,’ a spokesman for the local council said.

Carnaval, traditionally a festivity for the Catholic south and east, is slowly spreading northward.

The roots of Carnaval stem from the Catholic period preceding Lent, the ‘feast’ before the ‘fast’. The festivities – complete with lavishly decorated floats, oompah-oompah music and lots of beer – continue until Tuesday night.