British family on tourist jet as it crashes in flames: Dramatic escape from wreck of Burmese airliner
The Air Bagan plane crash landed in a paddy field in heavy fog
Two Americans and a Korean also among the 11 people confirmed injuredThree Burmese killed in the tragedy, including 11-year-old child
00:15 GMT, 26 December 2012
A British family survived a horrific air crash in Burma yesterday when their packed plane came down in heavy fog and burst into flames.
One of the Britons was injured when the Fokker 100, carrying 65 Christmas holidaymakers, smashed into the ground two miles short of its destination.
Three Burmese were killed in the tragedy – a tour guide and an 11-year-old child on board the plane, as well as a man riding a motorcycle on the road where it came down.
Scroll down for video
Ablaze: The Air Bagan passenger plane burst into flames when it crash landed two miles short of Heho airport
Wreckage: Four Britons are believed to have been on board the jet in Burma
Rescue: Burmese authorities work next to the ageing aircraft that was carrying 65 passengers
More than 50 of the 65 passengers were said to be non-Burmese. Two Americans and a Korean were also among the injured.
The Air Bagan jet from Mandalay
crashed as it approached Heho airport in the east of Burma, gateway to
the popular tourist destination Inle Lake.
An airport official said: ‘The aircraft was extensively damaged. People who got out can count themselves extremely fortunate.’
A local tour guide waiting at the airport for passengers said the fire had ‘burned almost the whole plane’.
The airline described the incident as an ‘emergency landing’.
Split: The Air Bagan plane broke in half on impact, according to Burmese officials
Carnage: Burmese authorities said the plane split in half on impact
Smouldering: Rescuers work to put out the flames
Fire was said to have broken out in
one of the plane’s engines and it reportedly struck part of a mountain
as it approached Heho airport in fog. Authorities however gave a
different account, saying the pilot mistook the road for a runway due to
‘While descending, the plane mistakenly landed due to fog,’ state television reported.
It said the aircraft made a hard landing on a road and then came to a stop in a rice paddy field.
‘The rear end of the plane broke and
caught fire,’ state TV said, carrying a statement posted on deputy
information minister Ye Htut’s Facebook page.
The charred wreckage of the plane. Witnesses said it was still smoking hours after the crash
State television said the plane missed the runway because of fog
Rescuers managed to bring the fire under control about 45 minutes later, he said.
Witnesses said smoke filled the plane
when it hit the ground and was still rising from the aircraft’s
badly-charred wreckage hours later.
One of the two pilots of the jet
operated by the private airline was among the injured, according to
initial reports. The British family was said to be being helped by UK
Air Bagan is owned by Tay Za, a tycoon
known for his close links to the former military junta. The airline had
two Fokker 100 jets, which are no longer manufactured. The injured
passengers were taken to hospital in the city of Taunggyi for treatment
for broken bones, burns, cuts and shock.
Tourism: Air Bagan is trying to capitalise on the country's burgeoning tourism industry (file picture)
First pictures of the scene of the
crash reveal how lucky anyone was to get out alive. The aircraft lay in
pieces in a field with soldiers guarding the wreckage. An airline check
of the passengers revealed that one was missing.
A search of the wreckage revealed a
body, believed to be that of the 11-year-old child. Air Bagan is one of
several domestic carriers seeking to profit from the tourist boom as
Burma emerges from military rule.
There has been an increase in tourism
in the past 12 months as the ruling junta has relaxed its control and,
for the first time in decades, opened up the country to foreigners.
.VIDEO. Local TV reporrt two killed as plane lands in Myanmar rice field
'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_news&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv33206”,
'videoPlayer' : “2055194324001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2253042/Burma-plane-crash-Four-British-tourist-injured-crash-killed-people.html”