Mistakes made during rescue after Turkish Airlines crash

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Mistakes were made during the rescue operation after a Turkish Airlines planed crashed just outside Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in February 2009. A report by the Dutch Safety Board concludes that precious time was lost by emergency services on their way to the incident because of a lack of information.

The registration of victims and their condition was inadequate, leaving relatives in suspense for too long.

The Board says there are too many procedures for rescues after plane crashes. For instance different rules apply depending on whether a crash takes place inside or outside the perimeter fence of the airport. This leads to confusion about which procedure to follow.

Communication system The report explains that the failure of the C2000 communication system used by emergency services after the crash was due to human error and not technical failure. Too many emergency staff used the system and there were too many groups using the system.

The Kennermerland Security Region has been fully responsible for emergencies at Schiphol Airport since 2008. The Public Order and Safety Inspectorate ruled in 2008, 2009 and 2010 that the region was perfectly able to cope with a plane crash.

The Dutch Safety Board thinks therefore that these mistakes should have been avoided. "The Kennermerland Security Region should have dealt with the accident without any problems."

Recommendations The criticism in the Board's report is unexpected as two earlier reports by the Public Order and Safety Inspectorate and the Health Inspectorate were satisfied with the rescue operation, in spite of the problems with the communication system. The Mayor of Hoofddorp, Theo Waterings, who is on the Security Region's governing board, says he accepts the report's recommendations and will improve procedures.

The Turkish Airlines plane with 135 people on board crashed in a field near Schiphol Airport on 25 February 2009. Nine people were killed. Many passengers were injured, seven of them seriously. Around 50 people managed climb out of the wreckage without help.  


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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