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Engine fault suspected in Turkish Airlines crash

Engine trouble may have caused the Turkish Airlines crash that killed nine people in the Netherlands, the head of the agency investigating the accident said yesterday.

Pieter van Vollenhoven said the Boeing 747-800 had fallen almost directly from the sky, which pointed toward the plane's engines having stalled. He said a reason for that had not yet been established.

Sandra Groenendal, of the Dutch Safety Authority, added that stalled engines on the plane were still "one of the possible scenarios" for the crash. Mr van Vollenhoven said analysis of the flight data recorders in Paris could be completed today, but his agency would probably not make a preliminary finding until next week. "We hope to have a firmer grip as soon as possible," he said, adding that the information retrieved was of high quality.

Flight TK1951 from Istanbul crashed about a mile (1.5km) short of the runway at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on Wednesday morning, smashing into three pieces and spraying luggage and debris across a farmer's field. It was carrying 134 passengers and crew.

Despite the catastrophic impact, the wreckage did not burn and dozens of people walked away with only minor injuries. Emergency services took the injured to nearby hospitals; six were still in critical condition yesterday. Both pilots died.