[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Deaths in Myanmar tourist plane crash

At least two people killed when flight carrying 51 foreigners crashes while attempting to land in heavy fog.
Last Modified: 25 Dec 2012 14:46
The ageing Fokker-100 jet crashed while attempting to land in heavy fog, breaking its tail and catching fire [AFP]

A Myanmar passenger jet packed with foreign tourists crash-landed and burst into flames in a field in eastern Shan state, killing at least two people and injuring 11 others, officials have said.

Air Bagan said a Burmese tour guide on the plane was killed and a motorcyclist on the ground also perished.

Two pilots were among those taken to hospital, according to Air Bagan spokesman Ye Min Oo.

"The cause of the accident is not clear yet. Only the pilots will know the cause, but we can't contact them yet as they have been sent to hospital," he said.

Fifty-one foreigners were among the 63 passengers, according to the information ministry.

Two Americans, two Britons and one Korean man were among those taken to the hospital in nearby Taunggyi, according to Air Bagan, which described the incident as an "emergency landing".

Two French nationals were also slightly injured, according to a French embassy official in Yangon.

Ageing aircraft

Black smoke was seen billowing from the charred wreckage of the Air Bagan aircraft, which came down near Heho airport, the gateway to the popular tourist destination of Inle Lake.

The ageing Fokker-100 jet crashed while attempting to land in heavy fog, breaking its tail and catching fire, according to the ministry.

"Because of the emergency landing near the airport, the plane broke up in the middle," a government official said, adding that passengers were evacuated.

Air Bagan is one of several domestic carriers seeking to profit from a tourist boom in Myanmar as it emerges from decades of military rule.

Yangon International Airport, the country's main terminal, is set to exceed its limit of 2.7 million passengers this year and the Department of Civil Aviation warned in July it needed urgent upgrading.

291

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
People are starving in southern Somalia while relief efforts are blocked by government and rebel fighting.
Some scientists say authorities in favour of nuclear energy tend to deny the negative results of researchers.
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Experts from Minamata, Japan check for signs of mercury illnesses in Ontario, Canada.
join our mailing list