Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Crew member killed in Bangkok Airways accident at Koh Samui, Thailand

by B. N. Sullivan

Bangkok AirwaysAn aircraft accident at Koh Samui, Thailand has killed one pilot and injured six passengers, four seriously. The aircraft, an ATR-72 500 (registration HS-PGL) operating as Bangkok Airways Flight PG 266, was arriving at Samui Airport after a scheduled flight from Krabi, Thailand at the time of the accident. On landing, the aircraft reportedly skidded off the runway and collided with a building, said to be the airport's former control tower. The accident happened today, August 4, 2009, at about 14:30 local time.

In a statement to the press late this afternoon, Bangkok Airways president, Captain Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, said there were two pilots, two flight attendants, and 68 passengers on board the flight. He said, "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 hotel. Two flight attendants and a pilot were reportedly safe, while the other pilot was dead."

Several news reports about the accident said that the weather was rainy and windy at the time the aircraft landed.

UPDATE Aug. 6, 2009: Aviation news web site FlightGlobal.com is reporting that wind shear may have contributed to this accident:
Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva reportedly told Thai media yesterday that "sudden wind shear" may have caused the accident. Reports suggest he learned this from Thailand's transport minister.