No license issued for Highland Games where people died

Rob Engelaar

NOS Newstoday, 01:48

The Highland Games in Geldrop, in which a passer-by was fatally hit last Sunday, did not have a permit. No specific application has been made to the municipality for this event and there is no question of a permanent event permit for the site, says the estate where the sports competition was held.

During the hammer throw a 65-year-old passer-by was killed by a thrown hammer. The man from Geldrop was walking in the adjacent flower garden of the castle when he was hit by the heavy projectile. According to witnesses, the participant had lost balance during his throw, causing the hammer to swing off.

A spokesperson for the municipality said after the accident that the Games fell under the permanent events permit of the Geldrop estate. The chairman of the foundation that manages the castle says, however, to Omroep Brabant that there isn’t. “The municipality has not issued a permit and my foundation does not have a permanent event permit.”

Garden not closed

According to the chairman, there was never a request to close the flower garden next to the competition area. “If we had been asked to do so, this should also have applied to the adjacent Zintuigentuin and Kinderboerderij. We almost never close such a large part of the estate.”

In a response, the municipality says that an external company will investigate the course of events, including whether the municipality itself has made mistakes. “Where the story of the permanent permit comes from is also a mystery to us. We are going to commission an independent third-party company this week to analyze the entire process.”

According to the spokesperson, contact has been made with the relatives of the victim. “We offered our condolences and our help.” In the flower garden, a bench with a few bunches of flowers and a notepad on which people can write a message reminds of the bizarre accident.

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