The 38-year-old Dutchman who killed five people and injured 12 during Queen’s Day celebrations in Apeldoorn has died. He died in hospital last night from serious injuries he sustained after driving his car at high speed into a crowd watching an open-topped coach carrying the Royal Family. The car missed the royal coach by 15 metres and came to a standstill when it crashed into a well-known monument.
The unemployed security guard is named as Karst Tates. His neighbours in the east of the country say he was made redundant a few months ago. They describe him as a quiet, withdrawn person.
The police have put 250 people on the case. The man’s home is being searched. On Thursday the public prosecutor said the man told police the target of this attack was the Royal Family, a crime punishable with a maximum jail sentence of 30 years. The public prosecutor ruled out terrorism. The authorities believe the man was acting alone.
After Thursday’s tragedy Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said it was too early to speculate about future Queen’s Day celebrations. After meeting Queen Beatrix and other members of the Royal Family in Apeldoorn, the prime minister called for serious reflection.
In a televised address, the queen, visibly shocked, offered sympathy to the victims and their relatives. Prime Minister Balkenende expressed “deep shock at the horrible event” and traveled to Apeldoorn.
The five people killed are three men and two women. Among the injured are three children, aged 9, 15 and 16. A number of Antillean musicians also were hurt.
Most Queen’s Day celebrations across the country were cancelled. In the capital Amsterdam, where some 600,000 people were partying, and a few other towns, festivities went ahead but were toned down.
Flags were lowered to half-mast at the palace and all government buildings.
For more information: radionetherlands.nl