Dutch military helicopter crashes near Aruba, killing two crew

THE HAGUE (AP) — A Dutch military helicopter crashed into the Caribbean Sea near the island of Aruba, killing two of the crew, the Defence Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

The NH90 helicopter was nearing the end of a coast guard patrol when it crashed on Sunday afternoon near the island.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, the ministry said.

A 34-year-old pilot, Lieutenant at Sea Christine Martens, and 33-year-old tactical coordinator, Lieutenant at Sea Erwin Warnies, were killed. The two other crew escaped without serious injury, Defence Chief Lieutenant Admiral Rob Bauer said.

The helicopter was based on a navy patrol ship, the Groningen. The ship was working to secure the wreckage and the helicopter’s black box, Bauer said.

Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld expressed condolences to the families of the victims in a tweet.

Bauer said the rest of the Dutch military’s fleet of NH90 helicopters has been grounded pending the investigation.