Nine dead in Amsterdam plane crash

Wednesday 25 February 2009 22.02
1 of 3
Amsterdam - 84 people injured
Amsterdam - 84 people injured
Amsterdam - Plane broke into three pieces
Amsterdam - Plane broke into three pieces
Amsterdam - Airport located southwest of the city
Amsterdam - Airport located southwest of the city

A Turkish Airlines aircraft with 135 people aboard has crashed in light fog while trying to land at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, killing nine and injuring dozens.

Watch live coverage from Dutch broadcaster NOS

Listen to an Air Traffic Control audio

More than 84 people were taken to hospital after the Boeing 737-800 crashed.

Dutch media reported that the pilot and co-pilot were among the dead.

At least four Americans, who work for Boeing, were on the flight from Istanbul, an official said.

The airliner is in three parts, with the tail section of the fuselage ripped off, and a wide crack just behind the cockpit.

The aircraft had not caught fire.

Weather reports at the time of the crash indicated decent visibility despite misty conditions and light winds.

'I thought it was a car collision. We heard a sort of loud and strange sound,' 14 year-old eyewitness Randy Cordes said. 'I saw one engine that was burning but the fire died quickly.'

The Turkish airliner was reported to have landed 3.2km short of the runway on an approach from the north.

One local media report quoted a farmer saying it had hit a tree as it sank to the ground.

'It should have been at 600 feet (180 m) at that point, if it was two miles short,' former Boeing pilot Alistair Rosenschein told Britain's Sky News television.

Dutch Transport Minister Camiel Eurlings has said Turkish Airlines met all safety regulations at Schiphol, but added in a statement that the cause of the accident will be investigated.

'The pilot is an experienced one who is a former member of the Turkish Air Force,' Turkish Airlines CEO Temel Kotil said.

Today's crash was the 11th accident involving a Turkish Airlines flight in the past 20 years, the NLR Air Traffic Safety Institute in Amsterdam said in a statement.

Turkish Airlines had a troublesome safety record in the 1970s, with 608 lives lost in around two years, but the modern airline's safety record has improved and Wednesday's crash was its second fatal incident this decade, according to the Flight Safety Foundation.

Tuesday's crash appeared to be the worst at Schiphol since an El Al cargo plane crashed into high-rise apartment blocks in 1992, killing 43 people, 39 of them on the ground.