An overnight Dutch passenger train from Leiden to The Hague was passing the town of Voorschoten, when it crashed not far from that location at about 3:30am, killing at least one person and injuring dozens.
Dutch Railways (NS) said that the train was carrying about 50 passengers. At least 30 passengers were injured in the crash, some of them seriously. Some crash victims required treatment for minor injuries at the scene, although 19 were taken to various hospitals, including a facility opened in the central city of Utrecht in response to the emergency.
The images provided by the emergency services from the scene of the accident, showed one train car had plowed into the field while another car could be seen lying tilted on the track.
Emergency services spokesperson said that a small fire had broken out in the rear carriage but had been quickly put down by the rescuers.
The initial reports suggested that the crash was caused by a collision with a freight train, but according to the regional emergency responders that a small construction crane may have been left on the track and caused the crash.
The emergency responders have reportedly found the crane at the crash site but its role in train disaster is yet to be determined conclusively.
John Voppen, CEO of the ProRail network, called the accident “a black day for Dutch railways” and said his thoughts were with everyone affected.
Voorschoten Mayor Nadine Stemerdink described the incident as “incredibly tragic” and offered her condolences.
Dutch Railways (NS) announced that no trains would be running between Leiden and The Hague due to the crash.