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Car Slams Into Crowd In The Netherland

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Four Dead After Car Careens Into Crowd at Dutch Royal Motorcade

Thursday , April 30, 2009



At least four people are reported to have been killed and several hurt in the Netherlands after a car careened into spectators watching a royal motorcade Thursday.

A photographer said the car appeared to be deliberately driving at high speed toward an open bus carrying Queen Beatrixand her family in the western Dutch city of Apeldoorn.

Prosecutors said they believe the incident was deliberate, but not an act of terrorism. They did not indicate a motive or say why the popular queen might have been a target. The driver was a 38-year-old white Dutch male with no police record or history of mental illness, police said. They would not give his name.

Cynthia Boll said she saw about 20 people "flying through the air" after the black car swerved across police railings, where crowds of people were waiting to see the queen pass.

Click here for photos.

Click here to watch the video from Sky News.

The car slammed into a monument. Video footage showed police removing a man from the vehicle and putting him into an ambulance.

The royal bus was not hit and no one in the queen's entourage was injured.

"From initial contact with police before the suspect was removed from the car ... we have reason to believe it was a deliberate action," prosecutor Ludo Goossens told reporters.

Apeldoorn Mayor Fred de Graaf said eight of the injured were in serious condition.

"What began as a great day has ended in a terrible tragedy that has shocked us all deeply," a visibly upset Queen Beatrix said in a brief statement broadcast on national television channels.

"We are speechless that something so terrible could have happened. My family, and I think everybody in the country, sympathize with the victims, their families and friends and all who have been hit so hard by this accident," she said.

People have been tweeting about the crash, saying the royals saw what happened and were shocked.

People were lining railings five or six deep to see the royal family pass on its way to a palace. The motorcade was part of celebrations for the annual national holiday of Queen's Day.

Journalist Peter von de Vorst said the incident was like watching a horror movie.

"It was a really nice day. Then you hear a bang. Everyone looks up and you see people flying through the air. This must be a joke or a strange prank. Then suddenly panic, and you realise that something really terrible has happened," he said. Dutch television said four people were killed and about a dozen injured, including children.

Shortly after the incident, investigators and a sniffer dog examined the car for explosives, then sawed off the roof for a closer inspection.

Click here for more on this story from Sky News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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