Dutch ground Apache fleet after fatal accident

Dutch Apache helicopters in Mali have been temporarily grounded after a fatal accident on Tuesday. Keeping the aircrafts grounded is a standard measure, says the Dutch Ministry of Defense.

An investigation team left for Mali today, NRC reports. The team will do an investigation on the scene of Tuesday's accident that killed two Dutch pilots. It is unclear how long the investigation will take.

The bodies of the two deceased soldiers, Captain Rene Zeetsen, 30, and First Lieutenant Ernst Mollinger, 26, are expected to arrive at the Eindhoven airbase around 18:00 on Friday, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Grijspaardt is quoted as saying in NRC.

Zeetsen and Mollinger were participating in a United Nations peacekeeping in Mali at the time of the crash. The mission aims to restore peace and stability in the African country. The Netherlands has provided approximately 450 people, four fighting helicopters and three transport helicopters to the mission. The Dutch role in the mission is to collect information and conduct reconnaissance missions.