Vietnamese Airliner Crashes Approaching Bangkok Airport
A Soviet-built Air Vietnam airliner with about 100 passengers aboard crashed this morning in a heavy rainstorm on its approach to a Bangkok airport and burst into flames, a fire department official said.
The Soviet Tupolev 034 crashed about five miles short of Don Muang International Airport into a field near a housing estate, said fire department official Fontip Potisa.
“The plane is on fire, and the flames are being whipped by a heavy wind and rainstorm,” Fontip said.
“Our men can’t get to the plane because the fire is too intense,” he said.
He said there were still no firm reports on dead or injured, but earlier a police official said an initial report indicated some injured had been rushed to a hospital.
Police said a rescue helicopter was dispatched to the area.
“We don’t know how many people were aboard, but we believe it was about 100,” said a police official who asked not to be named.
Air Vietnam’s Flight VN831 from Hanoi was scheduled to arrive in Bangkok at 11:40 a.m.
Airport officials said the plane disappeared from airport radar screens about 10 minutes before it was due to land.