One person is dead and multiple people have been wounded in a shooting on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht.
The head of the Dutch counter-terrorism agency says there has been shooting at “several” locations in Utrecht.
The shooter remains at large and a hunt is underway. Authorities said Monday’s incident appeared to be a terrorist attack.
Dutch broadcaster NOS said police had surrounded a building where the suspected gunman was believed to be holed up.
There was no immediate word on who the gunman was or on the precise number or identity of the victims.
Authorities raised the terrorism threat to its highest level in Utrecht province, 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.
“Several shots were fired in a tram and several people were injured. Helicopters are at the scene and no arrests have been made,” police spokesman Joost Lanshage said.
A shooting occurred on the #24oktoberplein in #Utrecht. The incident has been reported at 10.45 hour. Multiple people have been injured. The surrounding area has been cordoned off and we are investigating the matter.
— Politie Utrecht (@PolitieUtrecht) March 18, 2019
Local broadcaster RTV Utrecht quoted a witness as saying he had seen a woman on the ground amid some kind of confrontation, and several men ran away from the scene.
NOS quoted Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, head of the Netherlands’ counter-terrorism agency, as saying the shooting “appears to be a terrorist attack”, echoing an earlier comment by police.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte convened crisis talks, saying he was deeply concerned about the incident.
It comes three days after a lone gunman killed 50 people in mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Utrecht, the Netherlands’ fourth largest city, is known for its picturesque canals and large student population. Gun killings are rare in Utrecht, as elsewhere in the Netherlands.