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Royal attack: death toll reaches seven

Friday 01 May 2009

A seventh person injured when a black Suzuki drove through the crowd watching the royal family's motorcade in Apeldoorn on Thursday has died, officials said on Friday.

Five people died on Friday in the direct aftermath of the attack. The driver of the car, 38-year-old Karst Tate, died of his injuries in the early hours of this morning. Eight people are still in hospital - three women, three men and two children. One woman is very seriously ill.

In Apeldoorn itself, people have begun placing flowers at site of the accident. Many of the flowers were part of the decorations for yesterday's planned procession at the Het Loo palace.

At a news conference on Friday, Apeldoorn mayor Fred de Graaf, still visibly emotional, praised the emergency services and others who helped those hit by the car. 'There is a general feeling of dismay' throughout Apeldoorn, he told reporters.


The reason for Karst Tate's attack on the royal family during the Queen's Day celebrations on Thursday is still complete mystery.

'Was it an attack on the monarchy or the desperate deed of a madman who could no longer pay his rent?,' the Telegraaf asked.

The man told the emergency services after his black Suzuki Swift slammed into railings that it was a deliberate act.

The paper says the man had been recently sacked as a security official and had told his landlord he could no longer pay the rent. He was due to hand over the keys to a new tenant on Friday.

He was unknown to the police, public prosecution department and mental health services. 'I have never had such a well-behaved tenant. He always paid on time,' landlord Sem Bosman told the paper.

Remembrance day

The state information service RVD said on Friday that queen Beatrix, crown prince Willem-Alexander and princess Máxima will attend the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Amsterdam war memorial on Monday.

But security measures in the capital will be tightened up, news agency ANP reported.

More on this
The end of an illusion
Five killed in deliberate attack on royal bus


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Readers' comments

I think something amazing is inhuman, can not understand how this person did something so cruel. A big hug to the families who are suffering.

By oscar sepúlveda | May 1, 2009 2:52 PM

Canada's thoughts and prayers are with the good people of The Netherlands at this time of hurt and confusion.

By David Howick | May 1, 2009 4:21 PM

The UK also sends condolences to all families and friends of those who died or got injured. It's unbeleivable to think that someone could be so cruel.

By rob bailey | May 1, 2009 5:06 PM

All acts of a determined and crazy individual cannot be prevented. Security should have been tighter and some restrictions on personal liberty should have been taken. Think of the children who witnessed this. Was this something they should have seen? Prevention is the key. Some officials should be sacked!

By ISAAC MEYER | May 1, 2009 5:32 PM

Naturally, condolences to the victims and their relatives. Its a very sad and an unfortunate day for the Netherlands people and its Royal family. The questions which the news reporter should ask on behalf of the public are ?
1. Where were the police personnel who were suppose to oversee this pre-planned whole event ?
2. Where were the security personnel who assume to be one step ahead of everyone else ?
3. Its regrettable that the focus is usually and subjectively on imaginary threats from non-Dutch or non-Caucasians Dutch citizens, and as a direct result the police and security personnel tend to overlook the potential threats from their own kind. Needless to say, the Lessons to be learnt from this unfortunate and tragic event, are that in future the security and police personnel should focus their attention on all possible threats (including their own kind), and not just focus only on imaginary threats in the realms of Hollywood and TV movies (which are ill-conceived by or by fancy speculation during their office-overtime/pub happy-hours), and automatically and unjustifiably contributed to innocent non-Dutch and non-Caucasian citizens. Imaginary misguided suspicions, mistrust and unfounded accusations among international communities in the same society are counterproductive and also not generally healthy in the long-term for the common wellbeing of any society.

By Small Brother | May 1, 2009 6:22 PM

The thoughts and prayers of many South Africans are with the families of the dead and injured, as well as the royal family and all other onlookers of this tragedy. God be with you.

By Anne Leonard, Pretoria, South Africa | May 1, 2009 9:11 PM

What people are forgetting in all this incidenct is bad medical system that dutch have...I mean people are keep dyng after this accident....are they really that serious can we have brief condition description of the people who were injured where (anatomically) and how it can take their life..

By Shailesh | May 1, 2009 9:14 PM

I believe the royals did wrong by not coming downs to the ground to assist people and give them support. The embraced each other, and OFF they went!

By AVA | May 2, 2009 2:58 AM

Well Shanilesh, if one were to base an opinion on Dutch medical care, based on another recent event, the Turkish airlines crash, when none of those injured died in a Dutch hospital (and several were used) one could conclude the complete opposite. Sometimes the injuries are just too great.

And if it was one of my loved ones in hospital, would I want their injuries made public just to satisfy the morbid curiosity of strangers? No, no I would not; it would be none of their business and they should have more respect than to intrude in that way at such a devestating time.

By osita | May 2, 2009 8:21 AM

I´m so, so sorry and sad of what happened to the dutch citizien and the Royal Family. My thoughts and prayers are with all of this tragedy. It´s so unbeleivable.

By Dora-Maria-Ulrike Ellmers | May 2, 2009 9:37 AM

Small Brother - You would have to have unbelievable amounts of security to stop something unforeseen like this from happening. The road itself was closed off, the public was kept behind barriers, police were everywhere.

You ask what the police did - it can be clearly seen on the video footage. Within seconds of the car coming to a stand still police where around it, member of the AIVD closed in on the bus and you see the Royal family all sit down at the same time (which suggests someone was giving them instructions). Members of the AIVD can then be seen clearing people away from the scene as it wasn't clear that there would be no explosives in the car, with seemingly total disregard for there own safety. In the photos you even see plain clothed members of the secret service who appear from out of the crowd (man in jeans and yellow t-shirt is one of the first to arrive at the scene and can be seen with his hand on a gun under his shirt).

I'm sorry, but to suggest that the police in some way could have prevented this is grossly unrealistic and insulting to the people who were potentially risking their lives at the scene.

By Geuzen76 | May 2, 2009 11:13 AM

For the royals to get out of the bus and try to comfort others (as Ava above suggests) when the situation was one that was an attack against them, with the police not knowing who else might be involved. The most foolish thing in the world would be to add to the security issues by the royals leaving the bus. I'm sorry for the man who did this crime that his situation made him apparently desperate but there are sufficient levels of support in The Netherlands for those in need, in my opinion. I also believe that the Dutch medical system is quite good and assures health care to everyone. While there may be mistakes that Shailesh above knows about, every nation has medical mistakes. That doesn't make the whole system bad. I've lived in The Netherlands in the past for 20 years so I'm familiar with the medical system.

By Rosiejo | May 2, 2009 9:17 PM

Iraqis people's thoughts and prayers are with the people of The Netherlands at this time of hurt and confusion.

By Haider | May 2, 2009 11:10 PM

my thoughts and best wish to everyone in this tragedy event very sad. ava go away

By someone | May 3, 2009 8:35 AM

Condolences from Lebanon! May the Lord give you all and especially the families of the victims lots of patience and faith. I am so sad that Queen's day turned into a tragedy. I attended it before and it was such a nice day of public celebrations!

By Nader Elias | May 3, 2009 10:57 AM

As a former resident of Arnhem, I wish to send Ireland's love, thoughts and prayers to the people of The Netherlands

By Andrew Young | May 4, 2009 12:38 AM

My condolence to the mourning families of this unhappy event.I recently visited the Netherlands and was amazed by the lovely country and the kind people you have,everybody on the street being so helpful to foreign tourists to guide them.Destiny was unfair with the Netherlands to happen such a disaster.During my whole trip I felt safe in your country and hopefully the tragic events in Appeldoorn remain an exception.My tribute to the Dutch people and their way of life.

By roberto | May 4, 2009 7:56 AM

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