ROTTERDAM - In an accident during a fireworks show tonight in downtown Rotterdam definitely come five people dead. Rockets flew the public. Dozens of people were injured in the panic that arose after.

The fireworks show was one of the big draws of Fleet Week, held this week in Rotterdam. But what an extra special day should be, After the capitulation of Japan, yesterday, was a horrible day.

The show attracted, as expected, tens of thousands of visitors. Especially Parkkade was very busy. The fireworks were launched from the British destroyer HMS Onslow, which was tens of meters from the edge.

One of the arrows landed on the stern of HMS Onslow. There was a box of flares. Who flew in all directions, also towards the public.

"A pillar of fire spurted and loud crackling burning flares flew in all directions. Several came from the fierce startled spectators visit the Quay Park and the Hill. "

(Het Vrije Volk, 17-08-1945)

Also on board were injured and killed Onslow cases, but that has not been confirmed.


Most of the wounded were in the panic that followed the flares in the audience ended up.

"There was panic; loud cries of fear fled the crowds away. Men, who managed to keep their composure, the greatest difficulty had to avoid, the numerous injuries were trampled. "

(Het Vrije Volk, 17-08-1945)

More than a hundred people had suffered burns or were injured in the panic.

Among the victims was a 14-year-old boy and a policeman. All the victims are from Rotterdam.

The wounded also come from other parts of the country, such as Oud-Alblas and Tilburg. The youngest victim 11 jaar oud.


Prince Bernhard (leftmost) In addition to the US vice admiral Dickens. Foto: Stadarchief Rotterdam

This morning the fleet week was still a festive open. Prince Bernhard was welcomed by the US vice admiral and Dickens English amiraal Tovty. Both countries have ships docked at Rotterdam.

Central is a Fleet Exhibition in Gerzon, that one image to give the commitment of the (especially Dutch) fleet during the WWII. So there are pictures, see ship models and uniforms. The exhibition was opened by the Prince.

The interest was great for the warships and for 'ducks' daily that more than a thousand visitors a boat trip can make in the port of Rotterdam.

For tomorrow even include planned a demonstration of the British commandos. Whether that is by going not clear yet.


Trouw – 17-08-1945 – Rocket falls in box of ammunition

The Maasbode – 17-08-1945 – Rotterdam fleet week

Het Vrije Volk – Fireworks caused serious accident

RTV Rijnmond – 04-06-2014 – Vlootdagen 1945 end disastrous

Author: Dave Datema

published: 15-08-2019

story number: 109

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.