As many as 88 people were killed and 42 injured when a budget
airliner crashed in attempting to land at the Phuket International
Airport in southern Thailand on Sunday afternoon, reports in
The MacDonnel Douglas MD 82 plane, operated by Thai budget
carrier One-Two-Go, had 130 persons aboard, including 123
passengers and seven crew.
Latest death toll is put at 88, while 42 were injured and
hospitalized, many of them foreigners, according to Bangkok-based
news network The Nation.
Authorities have not confirmed the exact number of foreign or
Thai victims, but list of foreigners retreated at local hospitals
include British, Iranian, Australian, Swedish nationals, as
revealed by local media.
Airport administration officials said the two-engine airplane,
flight number OG 269, took off from the Bangkok's Don Muang airport
at 2:30 PM (0730 GMT), and arrived at the airport around 3:40 PM
After a failed landing attempt, the aircraft slipped off the
runway, crashed into trees and walls around the airport before it
broke into two sections and burst into flame.
Services at the Phuket International Airport were suspended
while airport workers and emergency personnel cleared the runway of
wreckage in the aftermath of the crash.
About 1,000 passengers were affected after four flights from the
airport, three Bangkok-bound and the fourth for Hong Kong, have
Before leaving Bangkok for Phuket together with other senior
officials, Thailand's Deputy Minister of Transport Sansern
Wongchaum on Sunday evening said that the Phuket airport is
expected to resume operations at 6 AM Monday morning (2300
Investigation of the crash cause is still underway. Heavy rain,
strong winds and poor visibility at the landing time were suspected
to be part of the reason.
The Phuket province is an island located on the eastern coast of
Indian Ocean in southern Thailand and one of Southeast Asia's most
popular tourist destinations.
The One-Two-Go airline, a domestic subsidiary to Bangkok-based
Orient Thai Airways and Thailand's first low cost airline which
started operating no-frill flights in 2003, runs the Bangkok-Phuket
flights from Don Muang airport, once known as the Bangkok
International Airport, six times a week.
Udom Tantiprasongchai, chairman of Orient Thai Airlines, told
The Nation that he was deeply sorry at the tragedy and promised
that the victims would receive maximum compensation.
Meanwhile, Chantra Purnariksha, the head of the Office of the
Insurance Commission was quoted by The Nation as saying that the
ill-fated plane was not covered by domestic insurance.
Chantra said that the General Insurance Association had
confirmed that One-Two-Go airline did not have local insurance for
the ill-fated MD 82 plane, and they will try to find out whether
the aircraft, which was leased by One-Two-Go from a foreign
company, was covered by foreign insurance.
However, airline companies normally buy insurance to cover both
the aircraft in operation and passengers.
Chantra said foreign passengers usually have their own life and
accident insurance, but Thai passengers, who are now being treated
at local hospitals, will be able to get compensation from
One-Two-Go, which will have to pay hospital bills immediately. The
airline can claim those costs from its foreign insurers later.
(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2007)