At least nine people were killed when a Turkish Airlines plane en route from Istanbul crashed on landing at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on Wednesday morning.
A further 80 people were injured when the Boeing 737 missed the runway and ploughed into a field, officials said at a news conference at the airport. Six of the injured are in a very serious condition.
According to the Telegraaf, both pilots are among the dead. The plane was thought to be carrying 134 people and eight crew.
According to eyewitness reports, the plane was approaching the Polderbaan runway close to the A9 motorway when its tail began to hang low: ‘too low for a landing,’ said one eyewitness on NOS radio.
After attempting to right itself, the plane then went down into a field before reaching the runway, the eyewitness said. Some said the plane appeared to run out of speed and just dropped to the ground.
One Turkish businessman on board the plane said the aircraft made a number of strange movements before hitting the ground. ‘It went dark. There was panic and screaming and blood everywhere,’ he told NOS radio.
One woman from the nearby houses who reached the crash site shortly after it happened told NOS radio she came across an American man saying ‘I’m okay, I’m okay’. She also spoke of seeing a Turkish man with a broken arm covered in blood and a number of children running across the field.
Officials on Wednesday afternoon declined to comment on the possible cause of the crash. Some experts said that the eyewitness reports could indicate that the plane had run out of fuel. The Boeing 737 is a ‘very strong plane’ and had been recently given a full service, one expert told NOS radio.
Immediately after the crash, the A9 motorway was closed in both directions, causing long traffic jams. Flights to and from Schiphol were also delayed. Others were sent to Rotterdam airport.
Among the survivors are Jihad and Hajar Alariachi, two of the three tv presenting sisters known as the Meiden van Halal (the Halal girls).
For pictures of the crash, click here
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