A 12-year-old boy was killed in this New Year’s Eve accident, while his 11-year-old boyfriend suffered serious leg injuries. The man who operated the hammer was arrested at the scene for culpable homicide.
‘Part shot loose’
The detectives kept the Albert Cuyplaan in Haaksbergen closed all afternoon for trace evidence. According to local residents, part of the hammer had come loose and hit the two boys.
Incidentally, the victims were not part of the group that fired the hammer, but were there more or less by chance. The police suspect that they just arrived or watched for a while. Police are still looking for eyewitnesses who can provide more information.
The Haaksbergen resident who operated the hammer – a type of hammer with which explosive powder is detonated – is currently detained in the detainee complex in Borne. Justice has imposed so-called restrictions, which means that he is not allowed to have any contact with anyone from outside except with his lawyer.
Text continues below photo
Precisely because of these restrictions, lawyer Janbart Kalk says that he is not allowed to say anything about the case.
“The only thing I want to say about it is that it is in everyone’s interest that this accident is investigated to the bottom. In the interest of the next of kin of the fatal victim, in the interest of the injured boy’s family and also in the interest of my client and his family,” the lawyer said.
‘Nice family man’
In the past, there have been more frequent accidents with folding hammers. In Vriezenveen, a local cheese trader was seriously injured at the turn of 2015 after he had stirred the powder just before. The accident subsequently received national publicity as a small army of volunteers acted as a sort of noaberhulp kept the cheese shop open while the victim was in hospital.
Despite previous accidents, the hammer is legal. Because blow hammers are not officially classified as fireworks, they did not fall under the ‘corona fireworks ban’ this year. Like carbide, they are therefore sometimes regarded as an alternative.
The Haaksbergen resident who is currently incarcerated is described by fellow townspeople as a neat and tidy family man. “Certainly not a swagger.” In the village people also feel compassion for him and his family. “Obviously he didn’t want this.”
Lawyer Janbart Kalk about his client’s state of mind: “Of course you can fill that in. This has a huge impact on him. It is a drama for all parties involved. This is a case that only has losers.”
As reported earlier today, a memorial has been placed for the victim in Haaksbergen at the spot where the boy died.