Netherlands train hits children on bicycle; 4 dead

Four children were killed Thursday when a dutch commuter train collided with a bicycle carrying several people, authorities said.

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A woman and five children were riding the motorized bike near the town of Oss when it was hit by the train. Officials said the fifth child and the woman were critically injured.
The children were on their way to school when, witnesses said, the bicycle drove through the crossing barriers on the tracks.

Witnesses also said barriers at the crossing were lowered, but the front carrier box on the bike passed beneath it.

All six on the bike were taken to the hospital, some by helicopter.

It wasn’t initially clear why the bicycle was so close to the tracks.

The Dutch safety board said recently it’s “unacceptable” that an average of 11 people are killed at train crossings each year. The board blamed the infrastructure ministry and a lack effort to improve safety.

The Netherlands has more road intersections at railway crossings than any other European Union nation, the board said, adding it’s “not a good combination.”

BySommer Brokaw