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​Man arrested following hostage situation at Dutch nightclub

today02/04/2024

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A man has been arrested following a hostage situation at a nightclub in Ede, central Netherlands, over the weekend.

Local media reported that four people were held hostage at nightclub and cocktail bar Café Petticoat on Saturday, March 30, when a man entered and threatened to blow himself up.

Authorities were alerted of the situation at around 5:15AM local time, reported Dutch broadcaster NOS. Of the four club staff who were held hostage, three were released. The fourth was let go around seven hours after the situation began.

Police are working to understand the motive of the 28-year-old suspect, who is currently unnamed. His mental state is also being investigated.

The situation began around 4:30AM when the man entered and demanded the staff to sit down and empty their pockets, according to the nightclub owner (via NL Times).

Kevin, the 37-year-old club owner, said that he didn’t perceive the suspect as dangerous when he entered the building, but noted that he appeared “lifeless and almost like a doll”, the Telegraaf reported.

Staff members – who are aged between 19 and 20 – had been clearing up and closing down the club when the situation began. Kevin said that he noticed the staff kneeling on the floor when he looked at CCTV footage on his phone, and saw a masked man in the room.

Police arrived at the scene within two minutes of Kevin calling the authorities, according to Anne Jan Oosterheert, head of operations of the East Netherlands police.

They said that the suspect was wearing a black backpack and a balaclava, and carried several knives, which he had shown to hostages. Specialist forces including anti-explosive units were deployed to the scene.

Trains to and from Ede were cancelled, according to railway operator NS, and residents of around 150 homes in the area were evacuated. The BBC reported that Ede town centre was also closed down.

When he finally emerged from the club, the suspect was placed in handcuffs and taken away by police. Hostages are currently being looked after following their release.

“It is very important to me to protect [the staff],” the club owner told the Telegraaf. “I hope they are left alone. They are 19 and 20. My associate is a bit older. They are doing okay, but I don’t want to speak for them,” he said.

Anne Jan Oosterheert said after the incident: “We spoke briefly to the victims. They are extremely shocked. All care and attention will go to them, in co-operation with the municipality, to make sure they get all the support they need.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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