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No clues yet on fatal plane crash

Two killed, 11 injured in Christmas accident

No clues yet on fatal plane crash
Monks take photos yesterday of wreckage from the crashed Air Bagan plane (AFP photo)
Thomas Toe, Yangon and John Zaw, Mandalay

December 27, 2012

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Investigators say they still do not know what caused an Air Bagan passenger plane to crash land near Heho airport in Shan state on Christmas Day.

A state commission is investigating the accident that left two people dead and 11 injured.

“We are still in the process of finding out the necessary facts, talking with some survivors and some eyewitnesses,” said Win Swe Tun, deputy general of the Civil Aviation Department and the commission’s head.

“Our commission’s tasks are to find out why this accident happened and how others like it can be prevented in the future,” he told today by phone from Heho Township.

The plane’s black box flight recorder has been given to the commission and will be sent to Singapore for examination, he said.

The New Light of Myanmar reported that the Air Bagan Fokker-F 100 hit power lines and trees in thick fog, shortly before 9 a.m. on Christmas Day. It was attempting to land at Helo Airport, near the popular tourist destination of Inle Lake. 

The plane was carrying six crew members, 48 foreign passengers and 17 local passengers according to the state paper.

The airline reported that a Myanmar tour guide and a motorcyclist on the ground were killed, while 11 were injured, including two pilots and one cyclist.

Two US citizens were sent to Bangkok for treatment.

The accident was an ''emergency landing" and passengers were evacuated within 90 seconds according to crew member Khaing Su Naing.

Survivor Soe Moe Thu, now in Yangon General Hospital, said the plane landed hard and he lost consciousness. “When I came to, I saw smoke and heard the alarm bell.”

He told he expected to leave the hospital today.

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