AMSTERDAM (AP) - The bodies of nine people killed in the crash
of a Turkish Airlines flight in the Netherlands have been formally
identified, a Dutch mayor said Friday, and Boeing Co. said three of
the four Americans among the dead were its employees.
Mayor Theo Weterings of Haarlemmermeer said the five Turkish
victims would be taken home as soon as further formalities and
paperwork allowed, while the U.S. Consulate was still deciding when
to transport the bodies of the four Americans killed.
Of 135 people on the Boeing 737-800 that shattered into three
pieces in a field shortly before it was due to land Wednesday
morning, 63 remained hospitalized, one in critical condition,
As 40 investigators swarmed the crash site Friday, the plane's
flight data and cockpit voice recordings were being analyzed in
Paris. Sandra Groenendal, spokeswoman for the Dutch Safety
Authority, said a first assessment of what went wrong according to
the black box data would likely be released by Wednesday.
Turkish Airlines said the dead included pilots Hasan Tahsin
Arisan, Olgay Ozgur and Murat Sezer and flight attendant Ulvi Murat
Boeing identified its killed workers as Ronald A. Richey of
Duvall, Wash.; John Salman of Kent, Wash., and Ricky E. Wilson of
Clinton, Wash. It said a fourth employee, Michael T. Hemmer of
Federal Way, Wash., was hospitalized.
Boeing said all four were engineers who worked for its
Integrated Defense Systems, the company's military wing, in the
Seattle suburb of Kent.
Authorities did not release the identity of the other American
Boeing was flying their relatives to the Netherlands if they
wanted to come, spokesman Andrew Davis said, but he gave no details
of their movements.
Flight TK1951 was coming in from Istanbul when it crashed about
one mile (1.5 kilometers) short of the runway at Amsterdam's
One survivor, Henk Heijloo, said the last message he heard from
the captain was for flight crew to take their seats. He said it
took him a while to realize the landing had gone wrong.
"We were coming in at an odd angle, and I felt the pilot give
the plane more gas," he said. He thought the pilot might have been
trying to abort the landing, because the nose came up.
Pieter van Vollenhoven, head of the Dutch agency investigating
the crash, said Thursday that the plane had fallen almost directly
from the sky, which pointed toward its engines having stopped. He
said a reason for that had not yet been established.
Groenendal said engine failure was still only "one of the
possible scenarios" for the crash. Other possible causes range
from weather-related factors to insufficient fuel, loss of fuel,
navigational errors, pilot fatigue or bird strikes.
"(It) just fell straight down and then you heard the engines at
full power as if it was trying to go forwards," survivor Fred
Gimpel told the Dutch NOS news.
Witnesses on the ground said the plane dropped from about 300
feet (90 meters).
Several crash survivors returned to Istanbul on Thursday -
including Kerem Uzel, a student. He told Turkey's NTV television
that he didn't realize anything was wrong until the plane was
skidding through the muddy field.
Turkish Airlines chief Temel Kotil said Arisan, the plane's
captain, was an experienced former air force pilot.
The airline also denied reports that the plane, which was built
in 2002, had had technical problems in the days before the
accident. The plane underwent routine maintenance Feb. 19, and had
to delay a flight Feb. 23 - the day before the crash - to replace a
faulty caution light.
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