The Dutch authorities are continuing their investigations into Wednesday’s plane crash at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The wreckage of the Turkish Airlines Boeing will remain at its present location until the Dutch Safety Board has concluded its investigation.
The Board’s chair Pieter van Vollenhoven, husband of the queen’s sister Princess Margriet, has said the investigation is not expected to take very long. The plane dropped nearly vertically from the sky just before landing at Schiphol. Mr Van Vollenhoven says this may point to engine failure.
A new press conference, to be held in the course of Thursday, may shed some light on the identity of the nine dead and the condition of the six seriously injured passengers. A number of Turkish media have criticised the Turkish authorities for their response to the plane crash. Several newspapers wrote that initial reports saying no one had been killed had confused the general public.
Dutchman Henk Heiloo was on board the flight when it crashed – incredibly he, like many others, emerged with only light injuries and is now back at home. He told Radio Netherlands’ Johan van Slooten about his experiences of the crash.
“The pilots announced they were beginning the landing. Then the engines were suddenly screaming. No other announcements were made. Then we had a very hard landing. I was at the emergency exit, got out and jumped onto a wing of the plane. There were no injuries in my compartment, the injured were in the back of the plane. There were enough people helping there. It’s incredible how efficient and fast the emergency services acted. They arrived within a quarter of an hour. Many plane spotters got there first and began helping victims. The flight itself had been normal, no signs of anything wrong.”
Reactions in Turkey
Meanwhile, people in Turkey are wondering how a relatively new airplane of their national company could crash without prior trouble. RNW correspondent Bernard Bouwman quotes unconfirmed reports by TV channel Haberturk saying that there was a technical problem with the plane before it took off from Istanbul Airport. The Boeing 737-800 prepared for take-off but then returned to the gate.
A number of Turkish media have criticised the Turkish authorities for their response to the plane crash. Several newspapers wrote that initial reports saying no one had been killed had confused the general public. Many questions still need to be answered, for instance why Turkish Airlines offices kept saying that everyone on board had been saved, even when news from the Netherlands came in about casualties.
Despite earlier claims that the pilots were very experienced, suspicions in Turkey are growing that pilot error may have contributed to the crash.
For more information: radionetherlands.nl