King Willem-Alexander met with two survivors and four relatives of the Hercules disaster on Tuesday. In that disaster in 1996 at Eindhoven Air Base, 34 people lost their lives.
At Palace Huis ten Bosch, the King spoke with the six about the tragic accident, the facts, the aftermath and the critical reports that were published about the disaster afterwards. The former Chief Chaplain of the Armed Forces (‘Krijgsmacht’)was also present at the meeting.
The Hercules transport plane was carrying four Belgian crew members and 37 members of the ‘Fanfarekorps’ (brass band corps) of the Dutch Royal Army. While landing at Eindhoven Airbase a flock of birds entered two of the aircraft’s engines. The plane couldn’t be kept in the air anymore, a go-around fails. The plane hit the ground, spun around its axis and landed in the grass next to the runway and catches fire.
In memory of the disaster there are two monuments in Eindhoven: one at the city hall and one at the Eindhoven airbase. Last year, there was a special commemoration at one of the monuments because it was the 25th anniversary of the disaster.
Translated by: Bob