Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thai jet crashes on Phuket with death toll climbing

A Thai airliner carrying about 128 passengers has crashed and broken in two as it attempted to land during bad weather at Phuket airport in the south of the country.

A local official said that at least 30 people are likely to have been killed in the crash.
A rescue effort was underway and the plane was believed to still be on fire.

The MD-80 plane, operated by budget carrier One-Two-Go, was flying to Phuket from Bangkok.

"The plane then fell onto the runway and broke into two. It is expected that there will be deaths," Chiasak Angkauwan, a civil aviation official, told Thai television.

The airplane asked to land but due to the weather in Phuket - strong wind and heavy rain - maybe the pilot did not see the runway clearly," he said.

"We are rescuing people from the aircraft ... we know now there were 123 passengers and five crew," he told the news channel.
"We won't know what really happened until we hear the black box."
Lieutenant Major Sokchai Limcharoen, a police chief in the Phuket area of, said the plane crashed at 3:35pm (0835 GMT).
"The plane was landing and slid off the runway. We are rescuing people and carrying injured people to hospitals," he said, adding that the plane was on fire.

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