Safety experts on Thursday hailed the "miracle" that limited the death toll from the crash of a Turkish Airways jet as it came into land at Amsterdam airport as dozens of investigators pored over the wreckage.
Relatives of the nine dead and 86 injured arrived in the Netherlands as the crash inquiry gathered pace in a field near Schiphol Airport.
"It is a real wreck," Fred Sanders, a spokesman for the Dutch Safety Board told AFP. "That so many people were able to walk out was truly remarkable. Some have called it a miracle."
Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim has also said the low death toll was a "miracle".
The Boeing 737-800 jet, carrying 127 passengers and seven crew, crashed into a muddy field just short of the runway Wednesday morning, in what survivors and witnesses likened to a brick falling from the sky.
Witnesses described seeing the tail of the het hit the edge of a busy road in light fog and drag along the ground before the plane broke in three.
The plane glided the final distance before hitting the ground, its tail angled towards the ground, witnesses said. The engines were found some 100 meters from the rest of the wreckage.
Of the nine dead, three were crew members. Six of the 86 injured were in critical condition and 25 were serious, officials said.
Casualties were cut by the fact that the plane did not catch fire when it crashed, said Sanders.
"It may have something to do with the fact that it came down in a muddy field rather than on a concrete road or on a landing strip where sparks would have increased the chances of a fire."
It appeared that the plane fell at a very straight angle, he added.
"This may indicate that the plane had lost its forward momentum, that there was no motor function."
Sanders said the investigation at the crash scene would take a few days, after then the wreckage would be moved away. He said an interim report could be released in weeks.
Accident investigators worked all night at the crash site looking for clues, Rob Stenacker, a spokesman for the Schiphol police told AFP.
About 40 investigators were taking part of the probe led by the Dutch Safety Board supported by local and airport police teams.
Sixty-seven relatives of those on the ill-fated Flight TK 1951 arrived at Schiphol on a special flight from Istanbul on Wednesday night.
Authorities have still not released the identities or nationalities of those killed or hurt, apart from saying they included Dutch and Turkish citizens.
Turkish newspapers criticized Turkish Airlines (THY) and the Turkish government for their handling of the crisis after the crash.
The airline and transport ministry at first said everyone on the jet survived the accident Wednesday morning, while Dutch rescuers were still examining the wreckage.
The popular Vatan newspaper called the announcement a "scandal," while Aksam said the crash aftermath "turned from celebration to torture" for relatives.
The liberal Radikal called the handling of the emergency "amateurish" and said the airline and ministry had created a separate "crisis."
Turkey's air workers trade union, Hava-Is, said "the respectability of the THY and the whole aviation sector was damaged."
THY is one of Turkey's most prestigious public sector companies and has grown steadily, increasing the number of passengers by 89 percent to 19.6 million from 2003 to 2007, according to company figures.
According to the company’s web site, in 2007 THY topped 27 airlines that are members of the Association of European Airlines in operational safety, defined as making flights at the planned time with no malfunction of any kind.
Its last deadly accident was in 2003 when a domestic flight to the southeastern city of Diyarbakir crashed on landing, claiming 74 lives.