Fri, Feb 27, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Dutch, US teams investigate Turkish Airlines plane crash


Dutch transportation investigators, joined by their US counterparts and a team from Boeing Co, will try to determine what caused a Turkish Airlines plane with 134 people aboard to crash into a field outside Amsterdam.

Nine people were killed and more than 80 injured on Wednesday when a Boeing 737-800 airliner from Istanbul went down short of the runway at Schiphol Airport and broke into three pieces. The so-called black box containing flight data has been recovered and will be part of the probe, Mayor Theo Weterings of the Dutch township of Haarlemmermeer said late on Wednesday.

“I can think of 20 different causes, but none of it is relevant as long as we haven’t figured it out completely,” Gelf-Jan Wieringa, director of the Dutch Association of Airline Pilots, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “We are happy with relatively few casualties. The big advantage was that the plane was landing.”

The Dutch Safety Board dispatched five people to the site and will start an investigation, Fred Sanders, spokesman for The Hague-based board, said in a telephone interview. The US National Transportation Safety Board is also sending a team, the agency said in a statement.

Boeing, the world’s second-biggest commercial-jet maker, is sending a team to provide technical support to the Dutch board, at the invitation of the nation’s authorities, the Chicago-based company said in a statement. Four Boeing employees were on the flight, said spokesman Jim Proulx, declining to comment further until the workers’ conditions are known and their families have been notified.

Flight 1951 was carrying 127 passengers and seven crew members. The bodies of the six passengers and three crew members killed were recovered from the site, a muddy field between a highway and a runway. The passengers were mostly Dutch and Turkish.

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