Phuket plane crash: black box recovered as the death toll rises
by Weena Kowitwanij
Thai authorities release passenger information numbers.

Phuket (AsiaNews) –Thai authorities have recovered the two black boxes from One-Two-Go flight 0G269 which crashed into a wall after skidding off the runway at touch down yesterday in Phuket. The death toll continues to rise: this morning the confirmed dead numbered 89.  Among survivors 26 foreigners and 15 Thai.  Among the dozens hospitalised some are in serious conditions.  The plane was carrying 123 passengers and 7 crew members.  The two pilots are believed to have died in the crash.  Among those dead are tourists from all over the world: Irish, British, Israelis, Australians and Thai.

The crash was caused by terrible weather conditions: the plane had sought to land quickly under heavy rains and strong winds.

Prawit Chusaeng, one of the wounded said “I heard a violent crash before smoke started pouring out of the plane followed by fire. I then rushed out from the plane”.

Burg Willham, from the Netherlands, another passenger who was slightly injured said “I saw the smoke-filled aircraft and hurriedly found the way out of the aircraft.””.

One-Two-Go is a low-cost airline which starter up in 2003, with 155 weekly flights to Thailand’s tourist destinations and with international flights to Hong Kong and South Korea.

Transport Minister Theera Haocharoen said the flight’s two data recorders, or “black boxes”, had been recovered from the charred and twisted wreckage but that it was too early to say what caused the crash: “Hopefully, we will learn in a few weeks the cause of accident”.

Phuket airport remains closed to traffic while all flights have been de-routed to Krabi.

Thai authorities have given out telephone numbers to give out information on passengers.  They are (from abroad): 662-5357683, 662-5357684 and 662-5357685. Calling from Phuket: 66-076-351090,  66-076-351517.

The Phuket crash is the most serious in Thailand since 1998, when Thai airlines plane crashed killing 101 people.