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Crashed plane had repairs days earlier

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The Turkish airliner that crashed in the Netherlands, killing nine, had a system malfunction repaired two days before the accident, airline officials said.

Turkish Airline officials said in a statement the Boeing 737-800 underwent repairs Monday after the pilot reported a problem with the "master caution light" program, which checks to ensure the aircraft is functioning correctly, The Guardian reported Friday.

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The plane crashed into a field 2 miles from the runway at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Wednesday, killing nine and injuring 50. The aircraft, carrying 127 passengers and seven crew members, took off from Istanbul.

In a statement issued Thursday, Turkish Airlines said the problem shouldn't be seen as a potential cause of the crash, the British newspaper said.

"Since then (Monday), the aircraft undertook eight flights and encountered no problems," it said. "Turkish Airlines has undertaken all required maintenance work on the plane in line with the directives of the manufacturer as well as national and international authorities."

Pieter van Vollenhoven, president of the Dutch agency leading the investigation into the disaster, said he thought engine failure led to the crash because the plane "dropped almost vertically" from the sky.

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"This would seem to indicate that the engines weren't giving enough forward thrust," Fred Sanders, a spokesman for the Dutch Safety Board, told the British newspaper. Officials, however, said they weren't discounting other theories of the crash.

The Boeing Co., manufacturer of the plane that crashed, sent a group of experts to the Netherlands to aid in the investigation, Today's Zaman said. The cockpit recorder device and flight data recorder were been sent to Paris for analysis.

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