Samui airport reopens this afternoon
Samui airport reopens this afternoon
Samui Airport remained closed, this morning, but was due to reopen at 1400 to commercial flights.
was closed to allow rescue teams to remove the wreckage of a disabled
ATR 72 that collided with a former control tower, yesterday afternoon.
The captain died instantly on impact and 10 passengers, including crew, were hospitalised.
Aviation authorities temporarily closed the airport, while they carried
out an initial investigation and verified that the airport was safe to
reopen to commercial flight.
Bangkok Airways crash
Bangkok Airways skidded off the runway, AP photo
Airways had flights on standby throughout the night at Surat Thani
Airport to transfer stranded passengers between Surat Thani Airport and
This morning, Bangkok Airways re-routed eight flights,
bound for Samui, to the mainland airport at Surat Thani transferring
passengers to and from the island by bus and ferry.
Bangkok Airways, Captain Puttipong Prasattong-Osoth, visited Samui,
earlier today, for an inspection, as well as to visit seven passengers
who are being treated at Bangkok Samui Hospital. Uninjured passengers
were transferred to their hotels on Samui, but have access to medical
care in case of stress, or post accident trauma.
Most of the 68 passengers on board were foreigners.
Prasaththong-osot, at a press conference, yesterday evening, reported
that PG 266 slid off the Samui airport runway and crashed into a
disused control tower. The front of the aircraft was badly damaged
resulting in the death of Flight Captain Chatchai Punsuvan. Of the 72
people on board, seven passengers and three crew members were injured.
Five passengers suffered major injuries and two minor injuries. The
co-pilot was seriously injured and was the last person to be evacuated
from the aircraft. Two cabin attendants also suffered minor injuries.
Bangkok Airways reported it has full insurance cover with Bangkok Insurance for passengers and aircraft damage.
cause of the accident has still to be determined, but initial
observations suggest the aircraft landed in stormy conditions, with
strong cross winds, that caused the aircraft to skid off the runway and
hit a disused control tower.
The twin-prop, 70-seat, ATR 72
joined the fleet in July 2001. The 58- year old captain had 14 years
flying experience on ATRs and had served with Bangkok Airways for 19
Internet news sites were already alluding to the
One-Two-Go accident, 16 September, 2007, in Phuket, where a MD-82
aircraft skidded off the runway and slammed into an earth embankment
killing 90 passengers. Strong cross winds were blamed for that accident.
Airwaysâ€' only previous fatal accident was also at Samui Airport, 21
November, 1990, when a 38-seat de-Havilland Dash 8 crashed on its final
approach to the airport, killing all 38 passengers and crew on board.
Reports suggested heavy rain and strong winds caused the plane to crash
into a hillside beyond the runway.
Strong winds gusts are common
in southern Thailand during July to September when the southwest
monsoon sweeps in from the Andaman Sea.
During yesterdayâ€'s press
conference the airlineâ€'s CEO stated: â€œTo restore confidence, we have to
show that we have a excellent safety record. For this unfortunate
event, we will have to find out the actual cause and address any
problem. I am confident that we are still a very safe airline.â€
Airport re-opened early this afternoon with the first departure on PG
100 leaving Samui at 1400 and arriving at Bangkokâ€'s Suvarnabhumi
Airport at 1500. The first departure from Suvarnabhumi Airport was PG
153 at 1400 with an arrival in Samui at 1500.
movements in and out of Samui Airport are as follows: Bangkok-Samui 16
flights; Samui-Bangkok 17 flights; Samui-Phuket 1 flight; Phuket-Samui
1 flight; Utapao-Samui 1 flight; Samui-Utapao 1 flight; Samui-Singapore
2 flights; Singapore-Samui 2 flights; Samui-Hong Kong 1 flight; and
Hong Kong-Samui 1 flight.
The emergency call centre is 66 2 265 8777.