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Thursday, April 22, 1999 Published at 02:21 GMT 03:21 UK

World: Europe

'Cover-up' in Amsterdam crash

At least 43 died as the plane crashed into a residential building

By Gillian Sharpe in The Hague

A Dutch parliamentary committee investigating the crash of an El Al cargo plane more than six years ago is to publish its final report on Thursday.

The BBC's Leon Hawthorne: "For years the Dutch people have suspected a cover up"
The report is expected to be critical of cabinet members and the government as a whole.

The plane ploughed into an apartment building in the Amsterdam suburb of Bijlmer, killing at least 43 people.

One member of parliament's investigating committee put it simply. The purpose of the report, she says, is to put an end to what has been a shameful chapter in Dutch politics.

Questions remain

More than six years after the crash, many questions remain. The report is expected to clarify what was on board the plane and look at whether El Al has co-operated fully with investigations.

The Israeli Government has already confirmed that part of the load was a chemical which can be used to make the nerve gas, Sarin.

Simon Montague: Plane was carrying nerve gas ingredient
Hundreds of people, ranging from rescue workers to local residents, are ill. They blame the crash, but the Dutch Government has never carried out a detailed medical investigation.

'Ministers to face criticism'

According to the mass circulation Telegraaf newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minster, Else Borst, is singled out for criticism for not acting sooner.

The country's other Deputy Prime Minister and former Transport Minister, Annemarie Jorritsma, is also expected to be censured.

Both women have said they will resign if their departments are found to have been at fault. According to Dutch television, Prime Minster Wim Kok will be blamed for the unco-ordinated response to the disaster.

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