Dutch police say 6 people have died after a truck rammed into a community grill

The death toll in an accident when a truck skidded off a barrier and crashed at a community barbecue in a village south of Rotterdam rose to six on Sunday and police said seven more people were in hospital, including one in critical condition.

Police said three men and three women, aged between 28 and 75, were killed.

Police spokeswoman Miriam Bowers said the truck driver, a 46-year-old Spaniard, was suspected of causing the accident, which occurred early Saturday evening in the village of New-Bearland. He has not been identified in line with Dutch privacy laws.

The big truck that the man was driving left a small country road, walked over the embankment, and rushed into the village pool. Bowers said the driver was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.

“We are investigating what could have happened,” Bowers said.

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Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima said in a tweet to them that they were shocked by the incident which they said had caused “unimaginable grief in this close-knit community. The affected families are on our minds and we wish the injured strength on their way. Maximum recovery possible”.

Forensic investigators worked Saturday night around the truck as it stopped at the bottom of the dam. Later, a crane and a tow truck brought her back to the road.

Pictures of the scene showed banners hanging among trees and chairs scattered around stilt tables, with paintings still above them.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte also expressed his grief in a tweet, saying: “My thoughts go out to the victims and relatives of this terrible drama. I wish them all the strength.”

Local Mayor Charlie Abbott visited the scene Saturday night.

“I offer my condolences to the victims, their families, eyewitnesses and paramedics,” he said in a statement.

He added that he spoke to several people at the scene and expressed his “appreciation for the way people are for each other”.

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