Turks, Americans killed in Schiphol crash
Five of the nine people killed in Wednesday’s plane crash near Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport were Turkish nationals and four were American, officials said at a news conference on Thursday evening.
Officials declined to say if the dead were related. Family members have been informed Haarlemerneer mayor Theo Weterings told reporters.
According to several reports, the Americans may have been employees of Boeing, the manufacturer of the 737 aircraft which crashed.
The identification of the victims was more difficult because there was an extra person on board the plane, the mayor said. In total 135 passengers were on the flight from Istanbul, not 134 as earlier thought.
The six people who were seriously injured are all still fighting for their lives, officials said. In total 60 Dutch and 51 Turkish nationals were on the plane.
Investigators have begun the painstaking task of identifying the cause of Wednesday’s fatal crash of a Turkish Airlines plane just before it was due to land at 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 news conference at Schiphol airport on Thursday, there was no further 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 it appeared that the crew had 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.
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