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Man dies after being struck by metal ball used for Highland Games event in Netherlands

A participant in the Highland Games, in Arran, Scotland, competes in a Hammer Throw contest. A man in the Netherlands was killed Sunday when he was struck by a metal ball while a similar event was taking place in Noord-Brabant. (Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – A 65-year-old man died in a freak accident during the Highland Games in the Netherlands on Sunday, Dutch police have confirmed.

The man, who was not a spectator at the games, was touring Geldrop Castle in the province of Noord-Brabant, near where the Highland Games were taking place. Sometime in the early afternoon, the man was struck by a heavy metal ball — similar to the ones used in hammer-throw events — and died on the scene.

He had also been behind a hedge in the castle’s gardens when he was struck, and not within the event arena.

“Emergency responders rushed and alarmed emergency services could do nothing for him,” wrote the Netherlands Police, per a translated press release.

A witness who spoke with local public broadcaster Omroep Brabant said the victim “didn’t see the ball coming at all” because he was on the other side of the hedge.

“The pendulum gave way, we saw the ball go over the hedge and then we heard a woman screaming very loudly,” she told the outlet.

Another attendee at the event told Omroep Brabant that the competitor who threw the hammer was quite distraught after the incident.

Police in Brabant said support is currently available for “witnesses who need it,” per the press release.

An investigation into the incident and the security surrounding the event is ongoing.

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