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Turkish plane crash near Amsterdam kills 9 - Dutch official - 2


(Recasts throughout, adds death toll by Turkish Foreign Ministry in para 4, details)

THE HAGUE, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - At least nine people died and 50 others were injured when a Turkish Airlines plane crashed at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Wednesday, a local official said.

The Boeing-737 en route from Istanbul crashed at 10:31 a.m. local time (09:31 GMT) while trying to land. The plane with 134 people on board split into three pieces when it hit the ground some 100-150 meters (330-500 feet) from a busy highway. No explosion or fire followed.

Micheil Bezuijen, acting mayor of the nearby city of Harlemmermeer, said 25 of those injured were in serious condition.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said 10 people had been killed, confirming earlier reports by the Turkish NTV channel.

Turkish authorities and the airline initially said there were no fatalities.

The country's transport minister, Suat Hayri Aka, said it was not yet clear what had caused the crash. "Turkish Airlines experts have flown for Amsterdam to investigate," he said.

Turkish aviation officials said the crash was not caused by poor weather or a technical failure.

"There were no negative factors related to poor weather conditions or technical problems on board the aircraft during the flight and in preparation for landing that could have caused the catastrophe," Turkey's Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.

Dutch media were citing experts, who said fuel shortage could have led to the crash.

"A lot of air carriers are trying to save fuel, cutting airliners' fuel reserves to a minimum," Dutch television said. "The fact that both engines stopped at the same time proves the plane had run out of fuel."

A pilot on the ground who witnessed the incident said the Turkish airliner did not crash, but made "an emergency landing." He told journalists that the pilot directed the airplane into a field after it lost engine thrust.

Another witness said that the Boeing was coming in for a landing but was too low. It tried to regain altitude to avoid a nearby highway, but the airplane did not have enough speed and crashed in a field some distance short of the runway.

The crash could have been caused by turbulence, a survivor told CNN-Turk.

"We encountered turbulence, very strong turbulence," he said. "I thought we were going to land in a field or on a highway."

TV footage broadcast by the Dutch NOS channel showed covered bodies near the plane.

Boeing expressed condolences to the victims' near and dear and said it was sending experts to the Netherlands to help investigate the accident.

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