File photo: 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht
File photo: 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht

Utrecht tram shooting: 1 feared dead, PM Rutte calls situation "very worrying"

ANI | Updated: Mar 18, 2019 18:37 IST

Amsterdam [Netherlands], Mar 18 (ANI): At least one person was feared dead and several others injured after a terrorist fired gunshots inside a tram in Utrecht city of the Netherlands on Monday, police said.
Authorities raised the terrorist threat to its highest level in Utrecht. Schools were told to shut their doors and paramilitary police increased security at airports and other vital infrastructure.
Security was also stepped up at mosques. Police launched an anti-terror squad to investigate the incident considering "a possible motif of terrorism."  
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who had to interrupt a weekly cabinet meeting to monitor the shooting situation, dubbed the incident as “very worrying.” 
Local media said air medical services were sent to the accident site immediately after the shooting was reported around 10:45 am.
Tram operations in the city came to a halt and people were asked to stay away from the site at October 24 Square.
The suspected gunman escaped in a car. 
"A shooting occurred on the 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht," police said. "Multiple people have been injured. The surrounding area has been cordoned off. In this, we also take into account a possible terrorist motive." Utrecht police said in a tweet.
The municipality of Utrecht set up a dedicated phone line to address public concerns. 
The University Medical Centre opened a specialised disaster unit in response to the shooting.
This incident comes immediately after the twin terror attack in New Zealand's mosques that took place last week, killing 50 people and injuring 49 others.