Utrecht commemorates tram attack: ‘Still has a huge impact’ Six people were injured.

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The commemoration this morning, mayor Dijksma on the left, minister Yesilgöz on the right

In association with
RTV Utrecht
NOS News

With a short ceremony, Utrecht this morning commemorated the attack on a tram exactly four years ago. A man then killed four people and wounded six.

“Ultimately, this attack will always be a wound that is deeply felt in our city,” says mayor Sharon Dijksma at RTV Utrecht.

She says it is important that the commemoration continues to take place every year. “Not only because people have died and there have been victims who are still suffering from it to this day, but also because the pain for the entire city has been enormous. So that has a huge impact.”

Here is an excerpt from the mayor’s speech:

“Within many a screaming has begun that cannot stop”

On March 18, 2019, Gökmen T. shot and killed four people in and around the tram that was on 24 Oktoberplein at that time. Because the man could only be apprehended after a long manhunt, the attack gripped the entire city. T. was sentenced to life imprisonment because the risk of recurrence was considered high.

Known to police

Mayor Dijksma now says that she notices time and time again what traces the attack has left behind: when she speaks with people who were close to it, or with people who have lost their relatives. But she also says that during regular consultations with the police and the Public Prosecution Service about potentially difficult situations in the city, she always has the experiences of four years ago in mind.

Two years after the attack, the Justice and Security Inspectorate concluded that the police, the Public Prosecution Service and the Custodial Institutions Agency could have done more to reduce the risk of an attack by T.. The suspect was already known to the various institutions before the attack, but information about him was not shared. Incidentally, the Inspectorate emphasized that this does not mean that the attack could have been prevented.

Close doors

Today it was announced that the relatives of Rinke Terpstra (49), one of the four fatal victims, are filing a lawsuit against transport company Qbuzz and the province of Utrecht. They say that Terpstra’s death could have been prevented if the driver had opened the doors of the tram. “By keeping the doors closed, the death of Rinke Terpstra is the result of a circumstance that the carrier could have avoided, or the consequences of which the company could have prevented,” says the lawyer for the next of kin, Axel Beijersbergen of Henegouwen.

At this morning’s commemoration, next to relatives, aid workers and witnesses, municipal councilors and Minister Yesilgöz of Justice and Security were also present. Football club FC Utrecht is also reflecting on the attack this afternoon. In the home game against Go Ahead Eagles, there is a minute of silence for the victims and then a standing ovation for the emergency workers on March 18, 2019.

  • Relatives hold Qbuzz and the province jointly responsible for the Utrecht tram attack
  • FC Utrecht commemorates 2019 tram attack in home game with Go Ahead Eagles
  • ‘Perpetrator tram attack Gökmen T. has been deprived of Dutch passport’
  • In association with

    RTV Utrecht

  • Regional news

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