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Two die in Dutch NH90 helicopter crash in the Caribbean

NH90 helicopter
Illustration: Dutch defense ministry file photo of an NH90 helicopter

Two crew of a Dutch NH90 maritime helicopter were killed on Sunday when their helicopter crashed in the Caribbean Sea near Aruba.

The other two crew members onboard at the time of the incident escaped without serious injuries, the Dutch defense ministry said.

The NH90 was embarked aboard the ocean-going patrol vessel Zr.Ms. Groningen and was returning from a coastguard patrol at the time of the crash. Groningen is forward-deployed to the Dutch overseas territory of Curaçao and helps support counter-narcotics and fisheries missions.

A coast guard helicopter and a dive team are currently helping Groningen to secure the NH90, with the helicopter’s flight recorder (black box) having a priority, the defense ministry said.

The Dutch Armed Forces have temporarily grounded the 20-strong NH90 fleet while an investigation to determine the cause of the crash has been launched. The defense ministry noted this was the first such incident involving the NH90.

Dutch defense ministry photo of the NH90 helicopter floating on the surface upside down following the crash.