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25 Feb, 2009 18:06

Nine people die in Turkish plane crash

At least nine people including both pilots have died and 50 injured in a Turkish plane crash near Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

The Boeing belonging to Turkish Airlines landed short of the runway and split into three.

The airline says 135 passengers and crew were on board the flight from Istanbul. Of the people wounded at least 20 are in serious conditions.

The number of people who died in the accident may be larger than previously announced. The latest report by the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the number of fatalities has reached 10.

Passengers reported the plane was approaching the airport when it suddenly lost height and hit the ground.

The aircraft fractured into three pieces on impact. The fuselage split in two, close to the cockpit, and the tail broke off. Both of the plane’s engines were torn off and ended up some hundred meters away from the fuselage.

It is still not clear what caused the crash, but the weather was foggy at the time of the crash.

Binali Yildirim, the Turkish Minister of Transport, said the aircraft had been through all the required security controls.

Candan Karlitekin, the chairman of Turkish Airlines, assured the pilot of the airplane was one of the company’s most experienced staff.

Acting Mayor Michel Bezuijen of the Haarlemmermeer municipality said that the plane may not have had sufficient fuel for landing. He added that this is not an official statement regarding the cause of the crash.

Schiphol airport was briefly closed following the incident.