Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Pilot killed as flight crashes on landing at Samui airport...

BBC News website user, Japhy G, took this photo from the north end of the runway at Koh Samui airport

The pilot of a Bangkok Airways flight has been killed and seven passengers injured as it skidded off the runway while landing at Koh Samui.

The Bangkok Airways flight, carrying 72 people, hit an old and unmanned control tower amid reports of heavy rain.

The President of Bangkok Airways, held a press conference at 17h00 today concerning the accident of the airline’s flight PG 266 from Krabi which skidding off the runway and collided with an out of service, unmanned control tower during the flight’s attempted landing at Samui Airport.

The aircraft, an ATR-72 500 series, with 70 seats, carried 68 passengers, two pilots and two flight attendants. Officials said the injured included the co-pilot, two Britons, an Italian and a Swiss national. The four tourists all suffered broken legs, while the co-pilot also had leg injuries, said the managing director of Bangkok Airways, Puttipong Prasartthong-Osoth. He said the other foreign passengers included nationals of Spain, France and Germany.

All passengers have been evacuated from the site with four seriously injured passengers sent to the Bangkok Samui Hospital, and two others with minor injuries delivered to the Thai Inter Hospital. The 62 other passengers have been transferred to hotels. Two flight attendants and a pilot were reportedly safe, while the other pilot died in the collision with the control tower.
An investigation team from the Department of Aviation has been despatched to the accident site at Samui Airport.

Several were treated for minor bruises or shock - including two other Britons - and were resting at local hotels before being transferred to Bangkok, officials said.

Samui Airport was temporarily shut down following the accident. The aircraft is to be removed on Wednesday morning, the runway inspected and cleared before the airport reopens to air traffic at 13hoo on Wednesday, 5th August.
We offer our condolences to the family of the dead pilot and our sympathy to the injured, also to the visitors whose holiday has been affected so traumatically.

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