Police confirm at least six dead after Dutch lorry ploughed into barbecue crowd

Six people died in an incident when a truck rolled into a neighbourhood party in the town of Nieuw Beijerland in the south of the Netherlands last night, Dutch police said today.

Seven other people were in hospital on Sunday morning with injuries due to the incident, with one of them in critical condition, police said.

The incident happened around 6 p.m. (1600 GMT) around 19 miles south of Rotterdam, when a heavy truck rolled into a field where neighbours had gathered for a party.

It was still unclear what had caused the accident, police said.

The driver of the truck, a 46-year old man from Spain, was detained as he was suspected of having caused a fatal car accident.

Police said there were no signs of alcohol abuse by the driver, but provided no further details on the possible cause of the incident.

A spokesman for the man’s employer, Spanish transport company El Mosca, told Spanish newspaper La Verdad that the driver went off the road running along the dyke as he tried to prevent a collision with a van.

Police did not confirm this report, but did say they had questioned a driver of a white van as a witness.

A huge amount of damage was seen at the site of the accident yesterday, including picnic tables knocked to the ground.

Fences were erected around the wayward truck to secure it and potentially to have tended to more victims away from the prying public eye.

A crane truck was reportedly called in to assists workers to clean up the scene.

Police spokesman Elianne Mastwijk said yesterday: “At some point a truck went off the road and crashed into the party.

“It was unclear what had caused the incident, or the precise number of people who had been killed or injured as the truck had not yet been removed from the site.”

The driver is said to have been in shock after the incident.