MONSTER TRUCK HORROR: Dutch police inspect the site of a horror crash in which a monster truck drove into spectators at a show in The Netherlands, killing three people and injuring 18. Image: AFP / Vincent Jannink
THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Three people have been killed by a souped-up monster truck that ploughed into spectators during a show in The Netherlands.
The truck's driver was taken into custody for his own safety.
Officials said on Monday (September 29) that the truck, equipped with giant balloon tyres and a powerful engine, surged out of the arena after driving over a line of parked cars, crashed through a barricade and then went into the audience in the eastern town of Haaksbergen.
THREE KILLED, FIVE CRITICAL
Town mayor Hans Gerritsen said on Monday (Sept 29): “A third victim has died from Sunday's (Sept 28) crash. Five people are still in a critical condition.”
Those killed include a boy, a man and a woman though officials declined to say whether they were of the same family. Another 18 people were injured.
VIDEO: Horror monster truck crash kills three
Videos posted online by spectators showed the truck apparently losing control after driving over several cars and swerving into the audience.
The unnamed driver of the truck spent the night in police custody, partly for his own protection, his lawyer told Dutch broadcaster RTV Oost. His lawyer Rob Oude Breuil said his client was suspected of manslaughter but had not yet been charged.Breuil said: "He stayed at the scene for a while yesterday. He saw a child under the wheels. "He's completely broken."
'I SAW A HUGE POOL OF BLOOD'
The show’s organiser, Geerlof Kanis, amid reports that the truck's brakes or accelerator had malfunctioned, told state broadcaster NOS that it was not yet clear what had gone wrong.
Kanis said: "Instead of braking, the truck drove into spectators."
Witness Robert ten Heuw told De Telegraaf newspaper: "I can still see the monster truck driving into the spectators. What I then saw is indescribable. Everyone was screaming and I saw a huge pool of blood."
Ten Heuw said he was among 30 or 40 people who lifted the truck off victims "with their bare hands".
Another witness, Freek Lassche, said: "The worst thing was that the smallest children were all at the front so that they didn't miss anything."
Helicopters, ambulances, fire trucks and police cars were at the scene, as well as rescue services from neighbouring Germany.
Dutch media questioned whether the event had followed the rules of the international Monster Truck Racing Association which stipulate that spectators should always be more than 10m away from the trucks.
The town of around 25 000 was to have held a meeting for all those involved in the incident on Monday (Sept 29) evening. Gerritsen said: “As a small community, we have a duty to support each other."
A monster truck event in the nearby town of Tubbergen, planned for September 30 has been cancelled.