A pilot has been killed and a number of passengers injured when a Bangkok Airways skidded off the runway before crashing into a disused control tower. The packed ATR72 aircraft had travelled from Krabi in southern Thailand and was attempting to land on the tourist island Koh Samui in wet and windy conditions.
The Bangkok Airways jet was carrying 68 passengers, two pilots and two flight attendants.
“I can confirm that there was just an incident with our aircraft from Krabi to Samui that landed and skidded off the runway,” said Nandhika Varavan, a spokesman for Bangkok Airways.
The Turboflot aircraft was endeavouring to land had on the popular tourist island, which is off the east coast of Thailand, after setting off from the mainland town of Krabi on the west coast.
Bangkok Airways flies three times a week between the two tourist spots.
“The plane just pinched the control tower but there was no fire,” Sakchai Jorpalit, district chief of the Thai tourist island, told the French news agency AFP.
He said most of the wounded were tourists, adding that some were hospitalised with non life-threatening injuries. Local reports said some of the injured suffered broken legs.
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.