ATR 72-500 twin turboprop crashes in Thailand

 - August 4, 2009, 7:41 AM

An ATR 72-500 twin turboprop operated by Thailand’s Bangkok Airways crashed into a disused air traffic control tower on August 4, killing the captain and injuring the copilot and six passengers. According to the operator, the airliner had been landing on the resort island of Koh Samui in heavy rain and wind when it skidded off the 4,724-foot runway.

The aircraft carried 68 passengers, two pilots and two flight attendants. Four passengers, including two British citizens, an Italian and a Swiss, suffered broken legs. The copilot also had leg injuries and two other passengers were hospitalized, according to Bangkok Airways president Captain Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth. Flight PG266 had flown into Koh Samui at around 2.15 p.m. local time from Krabi, another resort city.

Thai aviation authorities have begun an investigation. Aircraft manufacturer Avions de Transport Regional said it would not comment on the accident for the time being. Local police confirmed that the aircraft’s nose hit a former ATC tower that now serves as part of the airport fire station, and indicated that the captain’s left seat would have borne the brunt of the impact.