57 killed in Dutch plane crash remembered on anniversary

On Thursday afternoon relatives, survivors and other interested parties will commemorate the 57 people killed in a Martainair plane crash in Faro, Portugal on December 21st, 1992. The gathering will happen in the Sint Jansbasiliek in Laren. This 24th commemoration will also be the last one, due to declining interest, Dagblad van het Noorden reports.

The DC10 of Dutch airline Martinair crashed in Faro during very bad weather conditions 25 years ago. There were 327 passengers on board, mainly Dutch heading to the Algarve for Christmas. 54 passengers and two crew members were killed in the crash, and more than 200 people were injured. A rescue worker died shortly after the plane crash. 

On every December 21st since 1993, people gathered in the Sint Jansbasiliek church in Laren to light 57 candles for the victims. A monument listing the names of all the victims was also erected there.

This commemoration on the 25th anniversary of the crash, will be the last one, because the number of participants continues to decline. In the first few years after the crash, between 200 and 250 people attended the commemoration, according to the newspaper. That has since fallen to under a hundred. In consultation with pastor Jan Vriend, the organizers therefore decided not to continue with the commemorations.

The church will still be open on December 21st in the coming years, for people who want to light a candle for the victims.