It has been confirmed that at least nine people have been killed and 50 injured in a plane crash near Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport this morning.
Airport authorities announced the death toll in a press conference earlier. At least half of those wounded are in a serious condition.
There were 135 people onboard the Turkish Airlines jet from Istanbul which came down in a field near the airport as it was trying to land just after 10:30 am local time this morning.
Initially, there were conflicting reports about the number of casualties with Turkish authorities saying everyone on board had survived. But Dutch TV questioned this as its reporters saw what appeared to be body bags at the scene.
It is not known what caused the Boeing 737 to come down. The plane was just six years old and reportedly underwent its last inspection last December, less than two months ago.
Shocking images from the scene show the plane split in three parts on the ground. The jetliner did not catch fire after the crash, which experts believe could have saved many lives.
Several survivors were reportedly able to walk away from the wreckage after the accident.
One survivor said it all happened very fast, saying the flight felt like it had hit turbulence, adding that he was able to leave through a crack in the plane, although he reportedly saw other passengers trapped in their seats.
Authorities at Schiphol refused to answer questions on the cause of the crash, particularly rumours that the jet was low on fuel.
Many of the passengers were Turkish. Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased.
Air traffic at Schiphol has been seriously disrupted but some flights are still operating.