Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the injuries and distribution of casualties resulting from the crash of Turkish Airlines flight TK 1951 near Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands on 25 of February 2009.
Methods: This was a retrospective, descriptive study. Based on a review of the hospital records for all casualties of the airplane crash, triage at the scene, time to emergency department, Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) and Injury Severity Score (ISS), mortality, length of hospital stay and surgical procedures were abstracted.
Results: Of the 135 passengers, nine died on-scene. A total of 126 survivors were examined in 15 hospitals; data for all survivors were available for the study. Median time between crash and arrival at an emergency department was 3.5 hours (range 1.25-5.5 hours). Six passengers were uninjured and 66 were admitted to hospital. A total of 305 injuries were recorded. The majority were head and facial injuries (92), spinal injuries (35), and fractures of extremities (38). Eighteen percent of the patients had a spinal injury. The mean ISS was 6.3 (range = 1–57). The ISS score was >15 for 13 patients. Surgical procedures (80) were necessary in 23 patients. There was no in-hospital mortality.
Conclusions: Although the accident was in an urban area, there was a significant delay between the time of the accident and the arrival of the casualties at hospital emergency departments. The Turkish Airlines crash provides extensive information for research into mass-casualty or disaster management, triage, plane crash injuries, and survivability. The “Medical Research Turkish Airlines Crash” (MOTAC) study group currently is investigating several of these issues.