A freight ship struck a passenger ferry in a canal near Amsterdam Friday, capsizing the smaller vessel and knocking several people into the water, national police say.
"At this moment emergency services are trying to pull victims out of the water," spokesman Frans Zuiderhoek said in a telephone call broadcast on Dutch state broadcaster NOS.
Zuiderhoek said that after the collision the ferry was left floating upside down. He said it is not certain how many people were on the ferry, which is used to carry pedestrians and often their bicycles across the heavily-used internal waterway. He said he could not confirm any injuries.
Divers are in the water looking for victims and a helicopter is being used to search the water for warm spots.
The incident took place near the town of Nieuwer Ter Aa, roughly 6 miles south of Amsterdam.