Investigation begins into Schiphol crash
Investigators have begun the painstaking task of identifying the cause of yesterday’s fatal crash of a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737 just before landing at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
A team of experts from Boeing has also arrived at the crash site to help with the investigation. The last conversations between the pilots and ground control are being analysed for clues.
A number of police officers are on duty at the site, to keep away sightseers. And screens have been placed along the A9 motorway so motorists can no longer see the wreck.
NOS tv reports that the black boxes from the stricken aircraft are on their way to experts in Paris for assessment.
But at a newsconference at Schiphol airport on Thursday, there was no more information about the likely cause of the crash. Experts said it would take months before the cause became known.
Pieter van Vollenhoven, head of the Dutch safety research council, said the crew appeared to have tried to keep the aircraft in the air for as long as possible.
‘But if you lose speed, you literally fall out of the sky. The plane did not leave a trail across the field,’ Van Vollenhoven told NOS tv.
The death toll remains at nine on Thursday afternoon, but six people are still fighting for their lives in hospital. A further 25 are in intensive care. At least 53 of the passengers were Dutch and 51 had Turkish nationality.
Some 70 family members of survivors arrived at Schiphol in a specially-chartered plane from Istanbul last night. The Dutch embassy in Turkey set up a special visa system so family members could come to the Netherlands as quickly as possible.
The Turkish embassy in the Netherlands has also agreed to issue emergency passports at Schiphol to relatives without travel documents.
For yesterday’s main story on the crash, click here
For eyewitness photographs of the crash site, click here
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