A Boeing 737-800 jet owned by Turkish Airlines, crashed at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport at 10.40 am local time today (25 February, 2009). The first reports said there were survivors from Flight TK 1591, but the exact numbers of casulties and surivors are still unknown.
There were 135 passengers on the plane: 127 passengers (with 72 Turkish and 32 Dutch nationalities) and 7 crew members according to Turkish media.
The first pictures show the plane broken into 3 parts, but there is no sign of fire, therefore everybody is optimistic about the number of survivors.
A few hours after the accident, the Dutch authorities have confirmed that at least 9 people (including 3 pilots) have been killed, with more than 50 injured – 5 of those are in a life threatening condition. By noon local time, all survivors have been escaped from the wreckage, while many lucky passengers have simply walked away after the accident.
Update from Turkish Airlines’ emergency website: “Turkish Airlines regrets to confirm that its flight Number TK 1951 from Istanbul to Amsterdam the capital of The Netherlands was involved in an accident today near the Amsterdam Airport.
The aircraft, a B737-800 was during the landing when the accident occurred, at around 11:30 a.m. local time.
At this time, after the search and rescue operations, we have 9 casualties, and 50 passengers were injured. Turkish Airlines staff has been doing everything possible to assist the emergency services and local authorities.
There were127 passengers and 7 crew members on board Flight Number TK 1951 and we are currently confirming the details of the passenger manifest for this flight.“
The plane crash-landed in the fields just outside of Schiphol International Airport, coming to a rest only 150 m’s from the A9 highway. The plane broke into three parts with the aft part totally destroyed, while the front has broken in two around the front part of the wings. Many of the around 50 people who walked away from the plane have left the aircraft in the back where the cabin was wide open after the back of the plane has broken off.
The first reports suggested, the plane attempted to land but was too high and instead the pilots chose to abort landing but by then the plane was too slow to fully take off again, and the back of the fuselage hit the ground just after the the end of the runway. This process has been explained both by a passenger onboard as well as by a witness on the ground. However most of the reports are suggesting that the plane was on final approach to the runway which is also supported by the Aviation Safety Network’s Flight Path image. Some witnesses claim that the Boeing was quietly gliding just before the crash – which could theoretically mean that there was an engine failure, or could also mean that the plane has simply ran out of fuel. This second version is also supported by the fact that the plane has not caught on fire after the crash. (Last year a British Airways Boeing 777 crash-landing short of the London Heathrow runway - where nobody was hurt.)
The plane was a Boeing 737-800 with 165 seats. Turkish Airlines flies 52 of these planes in its fleet, while this type is considered as one of the safest airliners in the skies. This particular plane (registration: TC-JGE, name: Tekirdağ) first flew on January 24, 2002 and was originally delivered to Turkish Airlines.
By Szafi and balint01