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Attempted attack on Dutch royal family leaves 5 dead

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Five people killed and five badly injured in incident in Dutch town of Apeldoorn
  • Car hit crowd near open-top bus carrying Queen Beatrix of Netherlands
  • Driver, among the badly hurt, is charged with trying to attack Dutch royal family
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(CNN) -- Five people were killed Thursday after a man tried to attack the Dutch royal family during a Queen's Day celebration by crashing his car near the royal family's bus, Dutch police said.

A car is pictured after crashing into the crowd waiting for the visit of the royal family in Apeldoorn.

A car is pictured after crashing into the crowd waiting for the visit of the royal family in Apeldoorn.

Authorities are not releasing the name of the man, but said they have charged him with with trying to attack the royal family.

Twelve people were injured in the incident in the Dutch town of Apeldoorn, about 45 miles east of Amsterdam, police spokeswoman Esther Naber told CNN.

Crowds had lined the streets to see Queen Beatrix and her family ride by in an open-top bus during the Netherlands' annual holiday.

As the bus moved along, a black hatchback zoomed past it. The crowds were behind barriers off the road, but security officials and journalists, including many cameramen, were in the road as the car went by.

The car crashed into the low metal railing around a column on the side of the road. The vehicle appeared heavily damaged even before the crash, but the reason for that was unclear. There was no one other than the driver in the car at the time, Naber said.

Members of the royal family saw the crash and gasped, then quickly sat down as the bus continued driving.

The driver is in the hospital, badly injured, Naber said. He is among the five seriously hurt -- three men and two women.

Queen's Day is a national holiday in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba. The tradition started in 1885 and celebrates the birthday of the queen.

Although Queen Beatrix's birthday is January 31, she officially celebrates her birthday April 30, according to the Dutch government.


Queen's Day is known for its free market all over the country, where anybody is allowed to sell things in the streets. Other activities include children's games and musical performances. Were you there? Send us your video, images

The day is marked with the color orange all over the country as a reference to the colors of the royal family, who come from the House of Orange-Nassau.

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