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Dutch parade attack driver dies

Photographer Cynthia Boll: 'There were people lying everywhere'

The driver of a car that killed six people after crashing into crowds watching a Dutch royal parade on Thursday has died from his injuries.

Karst Tates, a 38-year-old Dutch national, was critically injured after his attempted attack on the Dutch royal family, and died in hospital overnight.

His car crashed into a monument after ploughing through bystanders who were marking Queen's Day in Apeldoorn.

The car narrowly missed a bus which was carrying Queen Beatrix and her family.

In a televised address on Thursday evening, the Queen said she had been shaken by the experience and sent her condolences to the victims.

"What started as a nice day ended in tragedy. We are all deeply shocked. We are speechless that such a terrible thing could have happened," she said.

Ten people, including three children, remain injured in hospital.

'Quiet, solitary man'

On Friday morning, prosecutors announced that Mr Tates had died at 0258 (0058 GMT) from the serious injuries he sustained after crashing a car into crowds watching the parade in Apeldoorn, some 90km (56 miles) east of Amsterdam.

A search of the home of the suspect yielded no weapons, explosives or indications of a broader conspiracy
Dutch prosecution service

He was already "clinically dead" by Thursday evening, having suffered significant brain damage, Dutch media reported.

Police officers who questioned Mr Tates before he became unconscious said he had told them he had targeted the royal family.

His neighbours in the eastern town of Huissen told Radio Netherlands that he had worked as a security guard until a few months ago, when he was made redundant. They described him as a quiet, solitary man.

"Recently, he informed me that he had been dismissed and could no longer pay the rent," his landlord, Sem Bosman, told De Telegraaf. "He was due to have come today to transfer the keys to a new tenant."

Mr Tates had no criminal record or known mental health problems.

"A search of the home of the suspect yielded no weapons, explosives or indications of a broader conspiracy," prosecutors said.

Despite the driver's death, a police investigation will continue in a bid to determine his motives for the attack.

Taken by surprise

The crowds in Apeldoorn had been celebrating Queen's Day - a national holiday in the Netherlands when thousands of people take to the streets to mark the queen's official birthday.

Hundreds of police officers were on duty in a huge security operation that took months to plan.

Princess Maxima and Prince Willem Alexander react in horror (30 April 2009)
Members of the royal family looked on in horror as the incident unfolded

But the authorities said they were taken completely by surprise when the small black car smashed through a security fence and into the crowd of people.

Cynthia Boll, a photographer at the scene, told the BBC that the car was already badly damaged before it slammed into the spectators at high speed.

"There were people everywhere, you could definitely see that it was serious because everywhere was blood and shoes ripped off and all the people giving CPR," she said.

Other witnesses described people being flung into the air as the car careered through the throngs who had turned out to see the queen.

The car then narrowly missed the open-topped bus which was carrying Queen Beatrix and her family before hitting a monument.

Television pictures showed members of the royal family looking on in horror as the incident unfolded nearby.

Officials said two men and two women died at the scene of the incident, while a third man died in hospital later on Thursday.

Then on Friday afternoon, the defence ministry announced that a military policeman had died in hospital, bringing the death toll to six.




SEE ALSO
Car attack on Dutch royal parade
30 Apr 09 |  Europe
In pictures: Dutch parade attack
30 Apr 09 |  In Pictures


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