Prime minister Mark Rutte has said on social media that he is ‘deeply troubled’ by a helicopter crash near Aruba, which killed two Dutch soldiers.
The helicopter crashed into the Caribbean Sea, killing 34-year-old pilot Christine Martens and 33-year-old tactical coordinator Erwin Warnies, reports public broadcaster NOS.
Armed forces commander Rob Bauer said in an early morning press conference that the accident was a ‘severe shock’ but that two other passengers in the helicopter were not seriously injured.
At around 20.30 Dutch time on Sunday, the vehicle was on its way back to Curaçao after a routine coast patrol when it plunged into the sea. The cause of the crash is currently unknown but a government diving team has retrieved the black box for investigation.
The other 20 Dutch NH90 helicopters have currently been grounded.
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