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Dutch trawl over aircraft crash scene

INVESTIGATORS took detailed photos of the wreckage of a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737 and analyzed black box recordings yesterday, trying to piece together why the plane lost speed and plowed into a field, killing nine people and injuring 86.

Flight TK1951 from Istanbul fell out of the sky about 3 kilometers short of the runway at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Wednesday morning, smashing into three pieces in a field. It was carrying 134 passengers and crew. Despite the catastrophic impact, the wreckage did not burn and many people walked away with only minor injuries.

The passengers and crew came from at least nine different countries, including seven Americans and three Britons, Haarlemmermeer mayor Theo Weterings told reporters.

Most passengers were Dutch and Turkish, but one person each came from Germany, China's Taiwan, Finland, Bulgaria and Italy. Weterings said the nationalities of 15 of the passengers still had not been confirmed. Four of the Americans were Boeing employees.

He said 121 people were treated for injuries and six were still in critical condition. Of the others, an airport official said earlier that 25 were considered seriously hurt.

Three of those killed were Turkish pilots, Weterings said. The identities of the remaining six victims and of four critically injured passengers were still not known.

One survivor, Jihad Alariachi, said there was no warning to brace for landing before the ground loomed up through the drizzle.

A retired pilot who listened to a radio exchange between air traffic controllers and the aircraft shortly before the crash said he didn't hear anything unusual.

"Everything appeared normal," said Joe Mazzone, a former Delta Air Lines captain. "They were given clearance to descend to 7,000 feet."


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