Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Turkish Passenger Jet Crashes

(CNN) -- A Turkish passenger jet crashed as it tried to land in Amsterdam Wednesday, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 50, 25 seriously, Dutch airport authorities have said.

Reports say that some survivors escaped from the plane through cracks in the fuselage.

The Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800, which had 127 passengers and seven crew members, broke into three pieces on impact in a field near Schiphol Airport.

A news photographer at the scene said he saw an unknown number of bodies lying under a white blanket, Maaike Voersma, a journalist with Dutch newspaper De Bers, told CNN.

A passenger on the plane who spoke to Turkish network DHA said he saw injured people trapped and squeezed between the seats when he walked off the plane. iReport: Send your videos, stories

The Boeing 737-800, which originated from Istanbul, Turkey, was trying to land at Schiphol when it went down at about 10:40 a.m. local time, Dutch airport officials said.


PARIS — A Turkish Airlines jet carrying 135 people crashed into a field on its approach to Schiphol Airport outside Amsterdam on Wednesday, killing nine people and injuring 50, airport authorities and Turkish officials said.In Ankara, Suat Hayri Aka, a senior transportation official, told a news conference that 20 of the injured appeared to be in a serious condition. Television pictures showed the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, lying fractured into three parts after it slammed into the grass about 3 miles from the runway. The aircraft did not catch fire.

The plane, Turkish Airlines flight TK1951, left Istanbul at 8:22 a.m. on Wednesday.

The crash took place in calm weather with a light drizzle. Unlike a deadly accident in Madrid last summer when a Spanair flight crashed while taking off, no fire broke out during Wednesday’s crash.

The Turkish aircraft would have been low on fuel as it approached its destination.

As rescue operations got underway at the crash site, 80 passengers were evacuated from the plane, Binali Yildirim, the Turkish transportation minister, said on NTV, a private television station in Turkey.

“The plane has been through all required security controls,” Mr. Yildirim said.

Tuncer Mutlucan, a passenger who survived the crash, told NTV, “It was the back of the plane that hit the ground. We left the plane from the back. My colleague and I saw people stuck in between seats as we were trying to leave and we tried to help them.”

“ It all happened in something like 10 seconds,” Mr. Mutlucan said.

Candan Karlitekin, the chairman of Turkish Airlines, said most of the injured were seated at the back of the plane.

“There was nothing extraordinary about the weather conditions, vision capability was 4,500 meters. Around 500 meters away from the landing strip, the plane landed in a field. The plane was broken into three parts, as you all saw in pictures.”

Mr. Kotil said that the pilot, Hasan Tahsin Ari, was one of the airline’s most experienced pilots. The company was planning a flight from to Amsterdam from Istanbul for relatives of the crash victims.

Caroline Brothers reported from Paris, and Sebnem Arsu from Istanbul.

Pictures from the scene showed the plane broken in three pieces. One tear was in front of the wing, splitting the "Turkish" logo in two, and a larger tear was farther back along he fuselage.

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