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Thai Plane Crash Kills 88, Injures 42


Officials in southern Thailand say they fear most of the 130 people aboard a passenger jet died when the airplane crashed in the resort of Phuket. Thai officials say a plane crash on the southern resort island of Phuket has killed 88 people and injured 42. VOA's Luis Ramirez reports from Bangkok.

The plane, a U.S.-made MD-82 aircraft operated by the budget carrier One Two Go Airlines, was landing at Phuket airport in a rainstorm when officials say it slid off the runway, broke apart, and burst into flames.

A TV announcer on Thai national television said 128 people were aboard the aircraft when it crashed in what the announcer described as a terrible storm.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the crash.

Television footage showed stunned, bloodied, and burned survivors being treated at hospitals in Phuket. The footage shows rescue workers rushing to find victims in the burning, crumpled fuselage.

Many of the passengers were foreigners on their way from Bangkok to the resort, which is popular among Australians and Europeans.

A nurse working in the emergency room at the Bangkok Phuket Hospital, where more than 30 survivors were taken, spoke to VOA and listed the nationalities of the passengers who were treated.

"We have Australians, Austrians. We have British, Irish, German, Iranian, Italian, and Thai, and French," nurse said.

The nurse said injuries ranged from critical to minor. She said at least two people were treated and released.

The crash is Thailand's deadliest in nearly a decade. In 1998, 101 people died when a Thai Airways jet went down south of Bangkok.