Engine failure likely cause behind Schiphol crash

February 26, 2009 news service

Correcting an earlier post. Turkish Airlines Flight-1951, a Boeing 737-800, with 135 people on board, including a baby and seven crew members, crashed while approaching runway A9 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport on Wednesday. The aircraft crashed into extensive damage killing nine people including three pilots.

Five of those killed in the crash were Turkish Airlines crew members.

The names of the dead are expected to be officially released today but reports emerged that the three pilots were identified as Captain Hasan Tahsin Arisan, Murat Sezer and Olgay Ozgur.

Confusion prevailed over the number of deaths in the crash for several hours, which was only cleared late on Wednesday night.

Initial reports said a person had died in the incident, but Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim later clarified that no-one had died, said a report on the BBC website

Flight 1951 crashed into recently ploughed fields just outside of Schiphol as it approached runway A9 for landing.

Temel Kotil, the president and CEO of Turkish Airlines, offered his sympathies to relatives of the dead. “In our sad condition our only consolation is that the total loss of life and the number of injuries are fewer than expected in such an accident,” he said.

“We offer our condolences to the families and friends of the passengers and crew members who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to those passengers who are being treated for injuries. We pray for the souls of the deceased to rest in peace.”

A special flight carrying 67 relatives of those involved in the accident arrived at Schiphol last night from Istanbul.

Newspapers in Cairo criticised Turkish Airlines and the Government for their handling of the crash, describing it as amateurish.

Both the airline and transport ministry initially said that everyone survived the accident. In fact nine were killed and 84 were injured, with six still critically ill.

Flight 1951 originated in Istanbul was approaching Schipol for the landing when the crash occurred.

The impact of the crash split the fuselage near the front of the wing, while tail section was sheared off. One of the engines was also sheared off from a wing.

The Dutch authorities were continuing investigations into the crash and added that the wreckage of the Turkish Airlines Boeing will remain at its present location until the Dutch Safety Board has concluded its research, reports Radio Netherlands..

Board chairman Pieter van Vollenhoven has said, the investigation is not expected to take very long. The plane dropped nearly vertically from the sky just before landing at Schiphol, which according to Vollenhoven may point to engine failure as the cause.

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