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DC-3 Plane Crashes into Wadden Sea; 31 Feared Dead, One Survivor Found

September 25, 1996

DEN HELDER, Netherlands (AP) _ A 55-year-old plane carrying 32 people crashed into the Wadden Sea outside this Dutch city today. One survivor was pulled from the water and the rest were feared dead, a naval spokesman said.

A coast guard rescue worker told Dutch television news that bodies were being taken from the sea, still strapped in their seats, and transported to a mortuary. Twenty bodies were recovered initially, and the search was continuing, the coast guard reported.

The DC-3 Dakota plane, the only one of its type still flying in the Netherlands, was owned by the Dutch Dakota Association, which used it for pleasure flights, Dutch TV reported.

The plane was reportedly trying to land in this northern Dutch city because of unspecified trouble with one of its engines, said Lt. Col. Jaap van der Waal of the Den Helder naval base about 40 miles north of Amsterdam.

``A naval helicopter has hoisted one man out of the water. Probably the rest are dead,″ van der Waal said by telephone.

The survivor, who was flown to the hospital here, was seriously injured. The plane was carrying six crew and 26 passengers when it crashed, coast guard spokesman Peter Paap said.

The plane took off from the North Sea island of Texel 12 miles north of this coastal city. It was likely heading for Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, Texel Airport director Ed de Bruin said.

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