[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
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.