Dutch train crash near Harlingen leaves two dead

Emergency personnel work at the scene of a train crash on March 27, 2017 near Harlingen Image copyright AFP
Image caption Witnesses said there was another crash at the same crossing at Harlingen last month

Two people have been killed in a collision between a train and a car near the Dutch town of Harlingen.

An adult and a child were killed when the car was hit on an unmanned level crossing and dragged for some distance along the track, reports said.

They had just left a nearby farm after a school trip for young children to see newborn lambs.

There were no barriers on the private crossing but red warning lights would normally have been operating.

Around 20 children aged four and five had been taking part in the trip to the farm, less than a mile from the Prins Johan Friso school. The car involved in the crash was reportedly in front of others taking other children home after the trip.

Emergency services reached the scene quickly and tried to cut the victims from the wrecked car.

The train had just left Harlingen for the city of Leeuwarden when the collision took place.

Because of the damage to the car, it was unclear for several hours whether there had been more victims. Police eventually confirmed that two people had died but did not identify them.

A car was hit by a train on the same private crossing last month and the rail operator said plans were under way to deal with the issue.

Although the car was badly damaged, the woman driving was unhurt.

A railway company spokesman said there were 300 such level crossings in the Netherlands.