Before this New Year’s Eve, the Haaksbergen resident had bought a new, smaller blow hammer via the internet. He bought the pot with blowing powder ready-made.
Due to the ‘corona fireworks ban’ at the recent turn of the year, carbide and hammers were a rewarding alternative this year. Both are not officially considered fireworks.
However, the Haaksbergen resident and his nearest neighbors have been using such a hammer for years. “This has never caused any problem,” said his lawyer Janbart Kalk.
Although the hammer is a relatively unknown phenomenon, the Haaksbergen resident was therefore familiar with it, his lawyer reports. Since he and his family moved to their current home six or seven years ago, it has been a tradition to organize a small neighborhood party around the turn of the year with other local residents. It was hit with a hammer.
The Haaksbergen resident made use of this together with other local residents. Precisely because this hammer was quite large in size and heavy to transport, the man had purchased a smaller and more manageable example. He eventually found it on the internet.
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Same security protocol
According to the lawyer, the Haaksbergen resident followed the same safety protocol as in previous years. “That day he operated the hammer in exactly the same way as always. Everyone was at a safe distance, as usual, and they were warned in advance about the bang. The only person who was close to the hammer was my client himself. If he had thought that the folding hammer was unsafe, he would of course never have used it. It appears as yet at the bang that something came loose from the hammer. The client himself was not aware of this. Suddenly there were two boys injured on the sidewalk.”
According to local residents, the bowl in which the explosive powder is placed exploded, after which metal particles flew around like shrapnel. The 12-year-old was hit in the chest area, his 11-year-old boyfriend in both lower legs. A third boy escaped unharmed.
The lawyer says that the investigation is pending on a blown part.
The husband’s wife appears to have made futile attempts to resuscitate the victim. The woman is a nurse and, because of her medical background, was able to assess the seriousness of the situation immediately. Despite the fact that she – helped by a colleague – resuscitated the victim for a long time, all help was no longer useful.
The man was arrested on the spot. According to his lawyer, he cooperated fully with the investigation during the interrogations. “He is devastated and shocked after learning that there was a possible connection between operating the hammer and the two victims. It is clear that my client never wanted this. He is very moved and sympathizes with it with the family of the two boys.”
Seller blow hammer
According to lawyer Kalk, the seller of the blow hammer also had years of experience with the banging tools. “He makes them himself and also uses them himself. That has always gone well. There was therefore no reason for my client to assume that there would be anything wrong with the purchased hammer. It looked solid.”
In the past, accidents have occurred when stirring the explosive powder: usually magnesium powder or a mixture of sodium chlorate with sulfur. According to his lawyer, the Haaksbergen resident bought the blow powder ready-made, at the same time as the blow hammer.
It is precisely because of those years of problem-free experience with folding hammers that the Haaksbergen resident is completely in the dark where things went wrong.
Lawyer Janbart Kalk previously pleaded with RTV Oost for a thorough investigation into the cause. “It is in everyone’s interest that this accident is investigated to the bottom. In the interest of the relatives of the fatal victim, in the interest of the family of the injured boy and also in the interest of my client and his family .”
The Haaksbergen resident remains a suspect in the case, however. Justice accuses him of wrongful death.
After he was released, it also rained on social media expressions of support for him. Both the families of the fatal and injured victim and the family of the suspect know each other from the Haaksberg community.
Many locals write that the accident “only knows losers” and is also a traumatic experience for the family of the suspect. The man’s children saw the accident happen, while his wife tried to resuscitate the victim.
Memorial corner at school
At the school community Het Assink Lyceum, classmates of the victim have set up a memorial corner. In addition to direct classmates, students from other grades and teachers could also come here on Monday afternoon to give a personal last greeting. According to director Ingrid Hegeman, a lot of use has been made of this.