News of: Wednesday, May 05 2010,

Four million see panic breaking out at National Commemoration ceremony in Amsterdam

Last night, during the yearly national commemoration of war victims on Dam Square, a panic broke out amongst the audience.

During the two minutes of silence at 8pm, a man started to yell. At first nothing happened, but when some people started to move, and a fence fell on the floor with a loud noise, a panic broke out amongst the crowd of about 25,000 people, who attended the ceremony.

The event was broadcast live on national television, and watched by 4 million viewers.

The Queen, Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima, who have a central role in the ceremoney, were quickly moved to a safe location. After it became clear that there was no real threat, the Queen and her following quickly walked back to the National Monument, in order to resume the ceremony.

About 50 people were (mostly lightly) injured. Many people were frightened, and many were seen crying. Many were reminded of the assassination attempt on the Royal Family, last year in Apeldoorn during Queens Day.

The man who started it all was arrested immediately. He is a 39-year old man, who has a multiple criminal record for violence, theft, drug trafficking and drug possession. According to the police, it looked like he was dressed as an orthodox Jew, and he will probably need psychiatric attention, as he seemed deranged and confused.

After a few minutes after the incident, the commemoration ceremenony was resumed, without further problems.

No extra measures are announced for the festivities of today (Liberation Day), also attended by the Queen. An emergency decree for both May 4 and 5 was already in effect.