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Sunday, September 16, 2007

5-8 Israelis on Thai plane that crashed

Between five and eight Israelis were passengers on a domestic flight in Thailand that crashed in bad weather on landing in Phuket today. The flight had originated in Bangkok. Eighty-eight people were pronounced dead and the remaining passengers and crew were injured. The plane - operated by One Two Go airlines - carried 123 passengers and a crew of five.
Witnesses described a horrific situation.

"I saw passengers engulfed in fire as I stepped over them on the way out of the plane," survivor Parinwit Chusaeng, who was slightly burned, said on the Nation TV channel. "I was afraid that the airplane was going to explode, so I ran away."

Parinwit said he looked back and fires raging in the front and back of the plane. "I saw the plane in flames and there was a lot of smoke," he said.

Chaisak Angsuwan, director-general of the Air Transport Authority of Thailand, said weather played a part in the crash.

"The visibility was poor as the pilot attempted to land. He decided to make a go-around but the plane lost balance and crashed," he said. "It was torn into two parts."

Anchalee Wanitthepphabutr, chief of Phuket's provincial administrative authority, said on TITV that the plane had been in flames.

The dead and injured were being taken from the plane to several Phuket hospitals, Anchalee said. One-Two-Go is owned by Orient Thai Airways.
Update 6:10 PM

It now appears that there may be as many as five Israelis among the dead. Hashem yerachem (may God have mercy).


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